change

1 of 2

verb

changed; changing

transitive verb

1
a
: to make different in some particular : alter
never bothered to change the will
b
: to make radically different : transform
can't change human nature
c
: to give a different position, course, or direction to
changed his residence from Ohio to California
2
a
: to replace with another
let's change the subject
b
: to make a shift from one to another : switch
always changes sides in an argument
c
: to exchange for an equivalent sum of money (as in smaller denominations or in a foreign currency)
change a 20-dollar bill
d
: to undergo a modification of
foliage changing color
e
: to put fresh clothes or covering on
change a bed

intransitive verb

1
: to become different
some things never change
2
: to undergo transformation, transition, or substitution
winter changed to spring
3
: exchange, switch
neither liked his seat so they changed with each other
4
: to put on different clothes
need a few minutes to change for dinner
5
: to shift one's means of conveyance : transfer
on the bus trip he had to change twice
6
of the voice : to shift to lower register : break
His voice started to change when he turned 13.
7
of the moon : to pass from one phase (see phase entry 1 sense 1) to another
changer noun

change

2 of 2

noun

1
: the act, process, or result of changing: such as
a
: alteration
a change in the weather
b
: transformation
a time of vast social change
going through changes
c
: substitution
a change of scenery
d
: the passage of the moon from one monthly revolution (see revolution sense 1a) to another
also : the passage of the moon from one phase (see phase entry 1 sense 1) to another
e
2
a
: money in small denominations received in exchange for an equivalent sum in larger denominations
b
: money returned when a payment exceeds the amount due
a cashier quick at making change
c
: coins especially of low denominations
a pocketful of change
d
: a negligible additional amount
only six minutes and change left in the game
e
: money sense 1
cost a large chunk of change
3
: a fresh set of clothes
4
British : exchange sense 5a
5
6
: an order in which a set of bells is struck in change ringing
Phrases
change hands
: to pass from the possession of one owner to that of another
money changes hands many times
Choose the Right Synonym for change

change, alter, vary, modify mean to make or become different.

change implies making either an essential difference often amounting to a loss of original identity or a substitution of one thing for another.

changed the shirt for a larger size

alter implies a difference in some particular respect without suggesting loss of identity.

slightly altered the original design

vary stresses a breaking away from sameness, duplication, or exact repetition.

vary your daily routine

modify suggests a difference that limits, restricts, or adapts to a new purpose.

modified the building for use by the disabled

Example Sentences

Verb He changed from an optimist to a pessimist. The town has changed little in recent years. These events have changed me in my attitude to life. You can't change human nature. Their relationship seems to have changed for the better. The leaves change color from green to red in the fall. She changed her name when she got married. France has changed its monetary unit from the franc to the euro. change the channel on the TV Noun There has been little if any change in her daily routine. You shouldn't be afraid of change. Change is a natural part of life. The years have brought many changes to the town's economy. We need to make some changes in the system. Many voters believe that it's time for a change. We've had to make a slight change in the schedule. a change for the worse We've been so busy that a quiet day at home was a welcome change. We eat at home a lot, so dining out sometimes is a nice change. Have you got change for a $10 bill? See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Now, some sleep researchers worry about the potential effects that continuing to change standard time twice each year may have on sleep health inequities. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, 25 Nov. 2022 Hundreds of amendments were put forward to change the bill, including many on unrelated issues, such as immigration and the environment, in what sometimes looked like a filibuster. Constant Méheut, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Nov. 2022 Quick isn’t about to change his approach or standards while the torch is still in his hands. Los Angeles Times, 24 Nov. 2022 Hong Kong doesn't plan to change the peg, said a spokesperson at the HKMA. Dave Sebastian, WSJ, 24 Nov. 2022 With Singapore’s censors both conservative and active, the SGIFF selection is always open to change from without. Patrick Frater, Variety, 24 Nov. 2022 As the Oak Cliff neighborhood begins to change, construction has come through to widen the street my grandmother lives on. Essence, 23 Nov. 2022 Either result is unlikely to change the program’s trajectory but certainly will impact the perception of Year 1 under a new regime — along with the Gators’ postseason opportunities. Orlando Sentinel, 23 Nov. 2022 The City of Brookfield is seeking to change the design of three train crossings after a man died when an Amtrak crashed into his car last Thursday. Beck Andrew Salgado, Journal Sentinel, 23 Nov. 2022
Noun
Achieving concrete change is more difficult, given the power that ardent Brexiteers hold within the Conservatives. Arkansas Online, 26 Nov. 2022 And in order to effect change, the governor and the Arizona Legislature will have to pay attention to any recommendations that come out of such research, Rimsza said. Stephanie Innes, The Arizona Republic, 26 Nov. 2022 Thursday marked his reformist bloc's second victory — its first being historic 2018 polls that led to UMNO's ouster and the first regime change since Malaysia's independence from Britain in 1957. Eileen Ng, ajc, 25 Nov. 2022 For some, merely seeing police being careful to refer to the victims using their correct pronouns this week signaled a seismic change. Sam Metz, Chicago Tribune, 25 Nov. 2022 This includes assessing older patients three times a day for delirium (an acute change in mental status that often afflicts older hospital patients), getting patients moving as soon as possible, and using non-narcotic pain relievers. Judith Graham, CNN, 25 Nov. 2022 And this week, a new report showcases the impact the management change may be having on the social media giant's finances. Li Cohen, CBS News, 25 Nov. 2022 In another proof of how election-year anomalies drive voters, the measure approving the election calendar change attracted a total of 975,000 votes, more than the Bass-Caruso showdown. James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, 25 Nov. 2022 Fourteen years later, the Soviet Union was dissolved, Yeltsin became president, and, in a change of tune, construction of a new memorial church on the site began. Leena Kim, Town & Country, 25 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'change.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French changer, from Latin cambiare to exchange, probably of Celtic origin; akin to Old Irish camm crooked

First Known Use

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of change was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near change

Cite this Entry

“Change.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/change. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

change 1 of 2

verb

changed; changing
1
: to make or become different : alter
2
: to give a different position, course, or direction to
3
: to replace with another : switch, exchange
change places
4
: to give or receive an equal amount of money in usually smaller units of value or in a foreign currency
change a $10 bill
5
a
: to put fresh clothes or covering on
change a bed
b
: to put on different clothes
change hands
: to pass from one person's possession to another's
changer noun

change

2 of 2

noun

1
: the act, process, or result of changing
a change of seasons
a change for the better
2
: a fresh set of clothes
3
a
: money in small units of value received in exchange for an equal amount in larger units
b
: money returned when a payment is more than the amount due
c
: money in coins
d
: money sense 1a
cost a large chunk of change

More from Merriam-Webster on change

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ