\ 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
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
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


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 The sea is uncontrollable, ruled by laws humanity can’t change. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "To the 1619 Project: Use More Art, Less Fake History," 25 Jan. 2020 Whether that will change as a result of the trial remains uncertain. Peter Baker, New York Times, "Trump Tries to Upstage Drama in the Senate With His Own Programming," 24 Jan. 2020 Most government don’t regulate antibiotic levels in waste, a situation that Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), a group with offices around the world that advocates for environmentally responsible health care, says must change. Natasha Gilbert, Science | AAAS, "Industry says voluntary plan to curb antibiotic pollution is working, but critics want regulation," 24 Jan. 2020 And, as is the case with my own lid issue, Dr. Zeichner, changing weather is also a very common trigger for dry eyelids. Jenna Birch, SELF, "Here’s Exactly How to Treat Dry Eyelids, According to Dermatologists," 24 Jan. 2020 Porsche was famous for sports cars:Then along came the SUV and everything changedThe company has stores in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Fairway to stay: Beloved New York food market denies report that it plans to liquidate," 24 Jan. 2020 New York City could see some freezing rain and sleet before quickly changing to rain during the day on Saturday. Jennifer Gray, CNN, "For a third-weekend in a row a winter storm will blast the eastern US," 24 Jan. 2020 Wilson takes us inside the drivers’ lives to reveal the way history has challenged and changed their destinies. Los Angeles Times, "Theater in L.A. this week: ‘Until the Flood,’ ‘She Loves Me’ and more," 24 Jan. 2020 There were 16 lead changes this time after 18 in the previous matchup. Staff Reports, Indianapolis Star, "State college basketball: Notre Dame, Evansville suffer losses," 23 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun State leaders have time to persuade federal officials to make changes, however. oregonlive, "New regulations could hamper CBD, hemp boom," 23 Feb. 2020 Despite weak sales during the holidays, the home goods company has the funds to make these changes. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "Bed Bath & Beyond's New CEO Wants to Cut Down on Merchandise," 21 Feb. 2020 The world, and the United States specifically, is far from making the structural changes needed to meet this crisis. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, "So You Want to Be a Climate Activist? Start Here.," 20 Feb. 2020 Support costs money at all levels and asking the vendor to make changes for long-term support is going to require financial commitment to do so from both sides. Mitch Parker, Ars Technica, "Why fixing security vulnerabilities in medical devices, IoT is so hard," 19 Feb. 2020 But the impact of the changes will spread beyond low-skilled, low-productivity sectors. The Economist, "Britain’s post-Brexit immigration rules worry business," 19 Feb. 2020 Many international companies have already had to make changes to their privacy policies due to Europe's General Data Protection Regulation. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "How California's New Consumer Privacy Act Affects You," 18 Feb. 2020 After a disappointing 8-8 finish in 2019, Jerry Jones and Co. made significant changes to the coaching staff. Sportsday Staff, Dallas News, "How Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch compare to NFL’s top off-ball LBs, is Dak Prescott a top QB in Dallas’ history and more — Your Cowboys Catch-Up," 16 Feb. 2020 Their findings have pushed some states and school districts to make big changes in how teachers are trained and students are taught. New York Times, "An Old and Contested Solution to Boost Reading Scores: Phonics," 15 Feb. 2020

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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Learn More about change

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

28 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Change.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for change


How to pronounce change (audio)

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.

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Comments on change

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