change·​ling | \ ˈchānj-liŋ How to pronounce changeling (audio) \

Definition of changeling

1 archaic : turncoat
2 : a child secretly exchanged for another in infancy
3 archaic : imbecile

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Other Words from changeling

changeling adjective

Examples of changeling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These men and women sat in uncomfortable, beat-up school desks determined to learn English — such a difficult language to acquire with its changeling grammar rules and high-maintenance punctuation marks. Sarah Fay, Longreads, "On Solitude (and Isolation and Loneliness [and Brackets])," 17 Mar. 2020 Thirteen years later, the goblin world is in crisis and needs the changeling back. oregonlive, "8 books to help you get into the spirit of the Halloween season," 20 Oct. 2019 Meet Cole and Tinn, accidental twins: The goblin Kull was supposed to switch them as newborns but was interrupted, causing him to panic and leave two babies, one human and one changeling, in one crib. oregonlive, "8 books to help you get into the spirit of the Halloween season," 20 Oct. 2019 The imitations were clearly imitations, less like uncanny meat changelings and more like the Dionne Warwick impersonator at your friendly neighborhood drag bar. Soleil Ho,, "Where do you find amazing vegan Vietnamese food in the Bay Area? Look for this Buddhist temple in East Palo Alto," 11 Oct. 2019 Superstition around fairies lingered in rural Ireland then, and Cleary recruited Bridget’s family to help drive out this mischief-making changeling. Jenny Rogers, Washington Post, "What do old tales of exorcism and murder say about how men see women now? Not much.," 26 Sep. 2019 Goslings and ducklings are baby birds, but a groundling is an uncritical or unrefined person (too poor to pay for a seat in Renaissance theaters) and a changeling is a child exchanged by fairies, or any kind of replacement of inferior value. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, "When good words turn bad," 28 June 2018 The British actress Andrea Riseborough is one of those metamorphic changelings so different from film to film, role to role, that few people realize she’s even out there. Ty Burr,, "‘Nancy’ presents a mother and child reunion that is — or maybe isn’t," 13 June 2018 But some sympathetic twitchy polymath would come along and explain that abductions happen all the time; this is what changelings always were. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "The Truth Is Out There," 21 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'changeling.' 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 changeling

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for changeling

Time Traveler

The first known use of changeling was in 1534

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Cite this Entry

“Changeling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce changeling (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of changeling

in stories : a baby that is secretly left to replace another baby

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for changeling Encyclopedia article about changeling

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