Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of change
Meaning of change by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • enPR: chānj, IPA: /tʃeɪndʒ/, X-SAMPA: /tSeIndZ/


    Via Middle English, from Old French changier, compare French changer, from Latin cambiō ( “exchange, barter” ), of Celtic origin, from Proto-Celtic *kamb- ( “crooked, bent” ), from Proto-Indo-European *( s )ḱamb-, *( s )kamb- ( “crooked” ). Cognate with Italian cambiare, Portuguese cambiar, Romanian schimb, Spanish cambiar. Used in English since the 13th Century .


    change ( plural: changes )

    1. ( countable ) the process of becoming different .
      The product is undergoing a change in order to improve it .
    2. ( uncountable ) small denominations of money given in exchange for a larger denomination .
      Can I get change for this $100 bill please?
    3. ( countable ) a replacement, e.g. a change of clothes
    4. ( uncountable ) money given back when a customer hands over more than the exact price of an item .
      A customer who pays with a 10-pound note for a £9 item receives one pound in change .
    5. ( countable ) a transfer between vehicles
      The train journey from Bristol to Nottingham includes a change at Birmingham
    6. ( baseball ) a change-up pitch

    Usage notes

    • Adjectives often applied to "change": big, small, major, minor, dramatic, drastic, rapid, slow, gradual, radical, evolutionary, revolutionary, abrupt, sudden, unexpected, incremental, social, economic, organizational, technological, personal, cultural, political, technical, environmental, institutional, educational, genetic, physical, chemical, industrial, geological, global, local, good, bad, positive, negative, significant, important, structural, strategic, tactical .


    ( the process of becoming different ): transition, transformation

    Related terms


    change ( third-person singular simple present changes present participle changing, simple past and past participle changed )

    1. ( intransitive ) To become something different .
      The tadpole changed into a frog .
      Stock prices are constantly changing .
    2. ( transitive, ergative ) To make something into something different .
      The fairy changed the frog into a prince .
      I had to change the wording of the ad so it would fit .
    3. ( transitive ) To replace .
      Ask the janitor to come and change the lightbulb .
      After a brisk walk, I washed up and changed my shirt .
    4. ( intransitive ) To replace one's clothing .
      You can't go into the dressing room while she's changing .
      The clowns changed into their costumes before the circus started .
    5. ( intransitive ) To transfer to another vehicle ( train, bus, etc. )
    6. ( archaic ) To exchange.

    See also

    • Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, 1989


Explanation of change by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. undergo a change

    2. She changed completely as she grew older
      The weather changed last night
    3. become different in some particular way, without permanently losing one's or its former characteristics or essence

    4. her mood changes in accordance with the weather
    5. cause to change

    6. The discussion has changed my thinking about the issue
    7. exchange or replace with another, usually of the same kind or category

    8. He changed his name
    9. remove or replace the coverings of

    10. Father had to learn how to change the baby
      After each guest we changed the bed linens
    11. change clothes

    12. Change before you go to the opera
    13. lay aside, abandon, or leave for another

    14. The car changed lanes
    15. become deeper in tone

    16. His voice began to change when he was 12 years old
    17. change from one vehicle or transportation line to another

    18. She changed in Chicago on her way to the East coast
    19. give to, and receive from, one another

    20. Would you change places with me?
      We have been exchanging letters for a year
    1. the action of changing something

    2. the change of government had no impact on the economy
      his change on abortion cost him the election
    3. a different or fresh set of clothes

    4. she brought a change in her overnight bag
    5. a thing that is different

    6. he inspected several changes before selecting one
    7. a difference that is usually pleasant

    8. it is a refreshing change to meet a woman mechanic
    9. an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another

    10. the change was intended to increase sales
      this storm is certainly a change for the worse
    11. the result of alteration or modification

    12. there were marked changes in the lining of the lungs
      there had been no change in the mountains
    13. money received in return for its equivalent in a larger denomination or a different currency

    14. he got change for a twenty and used it to pay the taxi driver
    15. the balance of money received when the amount you tender is greater than the amount due

    16. I paid with a twenty and pocketed the change
    17. coins of small denomination regarded collectively

    18. he had a pocketful of change
    19. a relational difference between states

    20. he attributed the change to their marriage

    Definition of change by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Change ( chānj ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Changed ( chānjd ); p. pr. & vb. n. Changing.] [F. changer, fr. LL. cambiare, to exchange, barter, L. cambire. Cf. Cambial.]
      1. To alter; to make different; to cause to pass from one state to another; as, “to change the position, character, or appearance of a thing; to change the countenance”.

      Therefore will I change their glory into shame. Hosea. iv. 7.

      2. To alter by substituting something else for, or by giving up for something else; as, “to change the clothes; to change one's occupation; to change one's intention”.

      They that do change old love for new,

      Pray gods, they change for worse! Peele.

      3. To give and take reciprocally; to exchange; -- followed by with; as, “to change place, or hats, or money, with another”.

      Look upon those thousands with whom thou wouldst not, for any interest, change thy fortune and condition. Jer. Taylor.

      4. Specifically: To give, or receive, smaller denominations of money ( technically called change ) for; as, “to change a gold coin or a bank bill”.

      He pulled out a thirty-pound note and bid me change it. Goldsmith.

      To change a horse, or To change hand ( Man. ), to turn or bear the horse's head from one hand to the other, from the left to right, or from the right to the left. -- To change hands, to change owners. -- To change one's tune, to become less confident or boastful. [Colloq.] -- To change step, to take a break in the regular succession of steps, in marching or walking, as by bringing the hollow of one foot against the heel of the other, and then stepping off with the foot which is in advance.

      Syn. -- To alter; vary; deviate; substitute; innovate; diversify; shift; veer; turn. See Alter.

    2. Change, v. i.
      1. To be altered; to undergo variation; as, “men sometimes change for the better”.

      For I am Lord, I change not. Mal. iii. 6.

      2. To pass from one phase to another; as, “the moon changes to-morrow night”.

    3. Change, n. [F. change, fr. changer. See Change. v. t.]
      1. Any variation or alteration; a passing from one state or form to another; as, “a change of countenance; a change of habits or principles”.

      Apprehensions of a change of dynasty. Hallam.

      All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Job xiv. 14.

      2. A succesion or substitution of one thing in the place of another; a difference; novelty; variety; as, “a change of seasons”.

      Our fathers did for change to France repair. Dryden.

      The ringing grooves of change. Tennyson.

      3. A passing from one phase to another; as, “a change of the moon”.

      4. Alteration in the order of a series; permutation.

      5. That which makes a variety, or may be substituted for another.

      Thirty change ( R.V. changes ) of garments. Judg. xiv. 12.

      6. Small money; the money by means of which the larger coins and bank bills are made available in small dealings; hence, the balance returned when payment is tendered by a coin or note exceeding the sum due.

      7. [See Exchange.] A place where merchants and others meet to transact business; a building appropriated for mercantile transactions. [Colloq. for Exchange.]

      8. A public house; an alehouse. [Scot.]

      They call an alehouse a change. Burt.

      9. ( Mus. ) Any order in which a number of bells are struck, other than that of the diatonic scale.

      Four bells admit twenty-four changes in ringing. Holder.

      Change of life, the period in the life of a woman when menstruation and the capacity for conception cease, usually occurring between forty-five and fifty years of age. -- Change ringing, the continual production, without repetition, of changes on bells, See def. 9. above. -- Change wheel ( Mech. ), one of a set of wheels of different sizes and number of teeth, that may be changed or substituted one for another in machinery, to produce a different but definite rate of angular velocity in an axis, as in cutting screws, gear, etc. -- To ring the changes on, to present the same facts or arguments in variety of ways.

      Syn. -- Variety; variation; alteration; mutation; transition; vicissitude; innovation; novelty; transmutation; revolution; reverse.