change

1 of 2

verb

changed; changing

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
changer noun

change

2 of 2

noun

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
2
a
: 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
6
: an order in which a set of bells is struck in change ringing
Phrases
change hands
: to pass from the possession of one owner to that of another
money changes hands many times
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?
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
However, people’s decisions to change their behavior have to come from them. R. Eric Thomas, Washington Post, 11 July 2024 To change that, Virginia lawmakers would need to initiate the multiyear process of amending the constitution, which ultimately requires statewide voter approval. Sabrina Moreno, Axios, 11 July 2024
Noun
Then, after a change to the starting lineup, Indiana lost to the league's worst team in the Washington Mystics on Wednesday. Chloe Peterson, The Indianapolis Star, 12 July 2024 Trying short tummy time sessions right after a diaper change or nap. Kristina Behr, Parents, 12 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for change 

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near change

Cite this Entry

“Change.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/change. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

change

1 of 2 verb
changed; changing
1
: to make or become different : alter
2
: to give a different position, course, or direction to
3
: to replace with another : switch, exchange
change places
4
: to give or receive an equal amount of money in usually smaller units of value or in a foreign currency
change a $10 bill
5
a
: to put fresh clothes or covering on
change a bed
b
: to put on different clothes
changer noun

change

2 of 2 noun
1
: the act, process, or result of changing
a change of seasons
a change for the better
2
: a fresh set of clothes
3
a
: money in small units of value received in exchange for an equal amount in larger units
b
: money returned when a payment is more than the amount due
c
: money in coins
d
: money sense 1a
cost a large chunk of change

More from Merriam-Webster on change

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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