change

verb
\ ˈchānj \
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

change

noun

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

Verb

changer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for change

Verb

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

Verb

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.

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

Anyone who knows the Kardashian-Jenner family beauty habits could be forgiven for being a little skeptical of the makeover, as everyone from Kim to Khloe to Kylie is known to be a big fan of using full wigs and hair pieces to change up their style. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Kris Jenner Got an Unexpected Hair Transformation With Long '60s Bangs," 8 Jan. 2019 The autonomous train system will allow Rio Tinto to cut down on the number of stops that the 2.4km (1.5mi) long, iron ore-hauling trains have to make to change drivers. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Mining co. says first autonomous freight train network fully operational," 30 Dec. 2018 Now New York’s City Council is hoping to change all this. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "How electric bikes can make cities safer," 30 Nov. 2018 Time travel is a tricky proposition — science fiction has endlessly explored the possibilities and consequences of changing the past or future, and Tom Sweterlitsch’s book is a complicated take on the trope. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Our favorite science fiction and fantasy books of 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 Normally, your blood vessels dilate to increase blood flow in response to changing conditions, like fluctuations in temperature or physical exertion. Nadia Berenstein, SELF, "Holiday Parties Bring Out the Worst of My Rosacea," 19 Dec. 2018 The researchers eliminated this explanation by changing the electrodes to graphene and showing that the device still worked. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Researchers make RAM from a phase change we don’t entirely understand," 18 Dec. 2018 Yet many older malls are sputtering in the face of changing consumer shopping habits and a glut of shopping centers. Jennifer Levitz, WSJ, "Sad Santas Confront Empty Malls: ‘Do I Have Something in My Beard?’," 17 Dec. 2018 Abbott says Netflix is partially to thank for changing viewer habits, particularly among millennials. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Secret Formula Behind Hallmark's Christmas Movie Empire," 30 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But the British competition isn't the only one adopting the change: CountryLiving.com confirms that trios will be allowed to audition in the U.S. for season 16! Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'The Voice' Blind Auditions Are Changing in a Big Way," 6 Jan. 2019 The role of climate change in wildfires also got a lot more attention this year. Umair Irfan, Vox, "What we learned from the disasters that hammered the US in 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 There was plenty of important science this year, from ever-dire warnings of climate change to the launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy. Angela Chen, The Verge, "2018 in weird science, from alien conspiracies to sensory illusions," 23 Dec. 2018 While countless brick and mortar retailers have one by one had to shut down, or at least, rethink their in-store approach in recent years, Ikea hasn’t made much of a change so far. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "Ikea’s first city-center store in the U.S. to open in Manhattan," 3 Dec. 2018 More Tax Report After the changes, the Internal Revenue Service posted a calculator to help people fine-tune their withholding or estimated taxes. Laura Saunders, WSJ, "Seven New Year’s Tax Resolutions for 2019," 28 Dec. 2018 Other than a fresh locale, the big changes for FH4 are in the number of simultaneous players—now up to 72 in a session—and seasonal transitions that join dynamic day-to-night-to day lighting and dynamic weather to keep the place looking fresh. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Ars Technica’s best games of 2018," 24 Dec. 2018 The color change was revealed on Instagram on Thursday, December 20 by none other than Gaga’s fiancé Christian Carino. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Lady Gaga Rocks Lilac-Colored Hair," 22 Dec. 2018 But just two years later, his parents were ready once again for a change. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "Miles Redd Designed His Parents’ Retirement Home," 21 Dec. 2018

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

Verb

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

Noun

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 Celt origin; akin to Old Irish camm crooked

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Learn More about change

Statistics for change

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for change

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

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More Definitions for change

change

verb

English Language Learners Definition of change

: to become different

: to make (someone or something) different

: to become something else

change

verb
\ ˈchānj \
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.

change

noun

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on change

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with change

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for change

Spanish Central: Translation of change

Nglish: Translation of change for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of change for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about change

Comments on change

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