\ ˈchānj How to pronounce change (audio) \
changed; changing

Definition of change

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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
2a : 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
change hands
: to pass from the possession of one owner to that of another money changes hands many times



Definition of change (Entry 2 of 2)

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 : menopause
2a : 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 : changeup
6 : an order in which a set of bells is struck in change ringing

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Other Words from change


changer noun

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

Examples of change in a Sentence

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?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That’s when the Congress of Racial Equality, a Black civil rights group, knew that something needed to change and got the wheels turning. Ayano Nagaishi, USA Today, "Could the Freedom Riders make a difference against today’s racism?," 5 May 2021 The continuing Facebook ban could hurt Trump’s fundraising because, while his political operation has a formidable cache of email and phone contacts, that information goes quickly out of date as people change email addresses and cellphones. Los Angeles Times, "Facebook board’s decision to uphold ban is a major political blow to Trump — for now," 5 May 2021 As stakeholder demands and market conditions change, companies can reassess what the value drivers are in the business. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, "Emotional attachments to businesses can hurt your bottom line," 5 May 2021 Instead of closing and reopening and possibly closing again, never knowing when regulations would change or whether diners would be comfortable dining out at all, Silverton chose to shutter The Barish until a more permanent solution emerged. Alyson Sheppard, Robb Report, "Chef Nancy Silverton Opens a Regal, Reimagined Steakhouse in LA’s Roosevelt Hotel," 5 May 2021 Allowing home-school students to participate would fundamentally change the nature of extracurricular competition in the state, UIL deputy director Jamey Harrison told one of the bill’s co-authors, Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Humble. Corbett Smith, Dallas News, "Will ‘Tim Tebow’ bill finally pass in Texas? Home-school advocates push for students to compete with public schools," 5 May 2021 Miller hears other agents talking less about migration and more about the increase in cash transactions that allow deeds to change hands faster and without a lender’s appraisal or other demands. oregonlive, "Out-of-staters are buying Oregon homes with cash and remodeling sight unseen, real estate agents say," 5 May 2021 Knowing plenty about how 3-point shooting can change a game, Duncan Robinson said what the Heat offered defensively was not good enough. Ira Winderman,, "Heat again learn lesson that bad things can come in threes," 5 May 2021 Past studies have shown that financial incentives can get people to change their health behaviors. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "From Free Beer to $100 Payments, States Are Incentivizing COVID-19 Vaccination. Will It Work?," 5 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given away more than $50 billion to support health care, education, gender equality and efforts to combat climate change. Tom Maloney, Fortune, "Melinda Gates has received $2 billion in stock since her divorce announcement," 6 May 2021 Some experts blame part of the extreme weather in West Virginia on climate change. NBC News, "West Virginia utility companies have spent millions to mitigate power outages. Why do they keep happening?," 6 May 2021 That level of warming, equivalent to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, is the stricter of two targets set by the 2015 Paris agreement to combat climate change., "Emissions cuts could halve the impact of melting ice on oceans," 5 May 2021 The state established the program a decade ago as part of its efforts to combat climate change. ProPublica, "The Climate Solution Actually Adding Millions of Tons of CO2 Into the Atmosphere," 4 May 2021 Biden’s support for the plan is one part of the President’s stance on climate change. Mike Wehner, BGR, "Your next refrigerator or AC will be a lot different because of new laws," 4 May 2021 Like the Obama administration, the Biden team—which includes some of the same top officials, including Mr. Campbell—is trying to work with Beijing on climate change as well as containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and, potentially, North Korea. William Mauldin, WSJ, "Biden’s China Policy Blends Obama’s and Trump’s, Top Aide Says," 4 May 2021 His plan to combat climate change falls into this category. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Biden’s Great Economic Rebalancing," 3 May 2021 While the administration has been heavy on globalist rhetoric, its actions have been limited pretty much to reversing Trump policies on climate change and the Iran Deal. James Jay Carafano, Star Tribune, "Biden channels LBJ, and will fail as he did," 2 May 2021

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.

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First Known Use of change


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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for change

Verb and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for change

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for change

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Change.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for change



English Language Learners Definition of change

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to become different
: to make (someone or something) different
: to become something else



English Language Learners Definition of change (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of becoming different or of causing someone or something to become different
: the act of replacing one thing with another
: the act of moving from one plane, train, etc., to another in order to continue a journey


\ ˈchānj How to pronounce change (audio) \
changed; changing

Kids Definition of change

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make or become different changing autumn leaves I like how you've changed this room.
2 : to give a different position, course, or direction to I changed my plans.
3 : to put one thing in the place of another : switch Our teacher made us change places.
4 : to give or receive an equal amount of money in usually smaller units of value or in the money of another country Can you change a ten-dollar bill?
5 : to put fresh clothes or covering on change a bed
6 : to put on different clothes We always change for dinner.
change hands
: to pass from one person's possession or ownership to another's The restaurant has changed hands.



Kids Definition of change (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act, process, or result of making or becoming different There's been a change in plans. a change of seasons
2 : something that is different from what is usual or expected The trip was a welcome change from our routine.
3 : a fresh set of clothes Pack several changes for your vacation.
4 : money in small units of value received in exchange for an equal amount in larger units Do you have change for a ten-dollar bill?
5 : money returned when a payment is more than the amount due Don't forget your change.
6 : money in coins I have two dollars in change.

Choose the Right Synonym for change


change, alter, and vary mean to make or become different. change may be used for making such a difference in a thing that it becomes something else. They've changed the house into a restaurant. Change may also be used for substituting one thing for another. We changed our seats for better ones. alter is used for making a small difference in something. He altered the picture by adding color. vary is used for making a difference in order to break away from a routine. The boss varied our tasks.

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