change·​ling ˈchānj-liŋ How to pronounce changeling (audio)
archaic : turncoat
: a child secretly exchanged for another in infancy
archaic : imbecile
changeling adjective

Examples of changeling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Where to watch Krampus: Peacock 08 of 15 A Christmas Horror Story (2015) What do the Krampus, a horde of undead elves, bloodthirsty changelings, and William Shatner have in common? Huntley Woods,, 20 Oct. 2023 Their first four children are appropriately adorable, but their fifth child is a violent oddball and possibly a changeling. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2023 Goblins steal a mother’s child and replace it with a ravenous changeling. Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, 23 Oct. 2023 Since then, the Star Trek franchise has studiously avoided the changelings. Alex Cranz, The Verge, 2 Mar. 2023 The folktale of the changeling is here recontextualized into a modern setting. Sheena Scott, Forbes, 18 June 2021 In most stories, a changeling is a fairy child that replaces a human one, typically without the baby or the human parents knowing. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, 25 Jan. 2021 True History of the Kelly Gang focuses its culture-wide vision into an unhidden life, divided into three sections: BOY is where young Ned (Orlando Schwerdt) resembles a pale, blond changeling who could become anything. Armond White, National Review, 18 Dec. 2020 The young Joan—with her gift for painting, her passion for dancing, her bristling impatience with school rules, and her wanderlust—was more like a changeling. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 29 Nov. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'changeling.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of changeling was in 1534

Dictionary Entries Near changeling

Cite this Entry

“Changeling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


change·​ling ˈchānj-liŋ How to pronounce changeling (audio)
: a child secretly exchanged for another in infancy

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