Change
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Change
See also: changé, chànge, and Cháng'é

English

Etymology

From Middle English changen, chaungen, from Old French changier, from Late Latin cambi?re, from Latin camb?re, present active infinitive of cambi? ("exchange, barter"), from Gaulish cambion, *kambyom ("change"), from Proto-Celtic *kambos ("twisted, crooked"), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)?ambos, *(s)kambos ("crooked").

Cognate with Italian cambiare, Portuguese cambiar, Romanian schimba, Spanish cambiar. Used in English since the 13th century. Displaced native Middle English wenden, from Old English wendan ("to turn, change") (whence English wend).

The noun is from Middle English change, chaunge, from Old French change, from the verb changier. See also exchange. Possibly related from the same source is Old English gombe.

Pronunciation

Verb

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 else.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. [...], London: [...] [John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, book I, canto I, page 1:
      Lo I the man, whose Muse whilome did maske, / As time her taught in lowly Shepheards weeds, / Am now enforst a far unfitter taske, / For trumpets sterne to chaunge mine oaten reeds, / And singe of Knights and Ladies gentle deeds [...]
    • 2013 May 11, "The climate of Tibet: Pole-land", in The Economist[1], volume 407, number 8835, page 80:
      Of all the transitions brought about on the Earth's surface by temperature change, the melting of ice into water is the starkest. It is binary. And for the land beneath, the air above and the life around, it changes everything.
    • 2013 July-August, Catherine Clabby, "Focus on Everything", in American Scientist:
      Not long ago, it was difficult to produce photographs of tiny creatures with every part in focus. [...] A photo processing technique called focus stacking has changed that. Developed as a tool to electronically combine the sharpest bits of multiple digital images, focus stacking is a boon to biologists seeking full focus on a micron scale.
    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. (transitive) To replace the clothing of (the one wearing it).
    It's your turn to change the baby.
  6. (intransitive) To transfer to another vehicle (train, bus, etc.)
    • 2020 December 2, Paul Bigland, "My weirdest and wackiest Rover yet", in Rail, page 66:
      After stopping at these stations, my train has become busy. Returning day-trippers make up a goodly number, along with young people heading for a night out in Bristol, which is where I change once again.
  7. (archaic) To exchange.
    • 1610, The Tempest, by William Shakespeare, act 1 scene 2
      At the first sight / they have changed eyes. (exchanged looks)
    • 1662 Thomas Salusbury, Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (Dialogue 2):
      I would give any thing to change a word or two with this person.
  8. (transitive) To change hand while riding (a horse).
    to change a horse

Synonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun

change (countable and uncountable, plural changes)

  1. (countable, uncountable) The process of becoming different.
    • 2008, Nick Cave (lyrics and music), "Jesus Of The Moon", in Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!, performed by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds:
      Cause people often talk about being scared of change / But for me I'm more afraid of things staying the same
    • 2013 May 11, "The climate of Tibet: Pole-land", in The Economist[2], volume 407, number 8835, page 80:
      Of all the transitions brought about on the Earth's surface by temperature change, the melting of ice into water is the starkest. It is binary. And for the land beneath, the air above and the life around, it changes everything.
    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.
    a change of clothes
    • 2010 December 29, Mark Vesty, "Wigan 2 - 2 Arsenal", in BBC[3]:
      After beating champions Chelsea 3-1 on Boxing Day, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger made eight changes to his starting XI in an effort to freshen things up, with games against Birmingham and Manchester City to come in the next seven days.
  4. (uncountable) Balance of money returned from the sum paid after deducting the price of a purchase.
    A customer who pays with a 10-pound note for a £9 item receives one pound in change.
  5. (uncountable) Usually coins (as opposed to paper money), but sometimes inclusive of paper money
    Do you have any change on you? I need to make a phone call.
    This bus ride requires exact change.
  6. (countable) A transfer between vehicles.
    The train journey from Bristol to Nottingham includes a change at Birmingham.
    • 2019 October, John Glover, "Heathrow rail expansion", in Modern Railways, page 72:
      It [the Elizabeth Line] will provide a 6tph (trains per hour) service and with a single change at Hayes & Harlington offer services towards Reading.
  7. (baseball) A change-up pitch.
  8. (campanology) Any order in which a number of bells are struck, other than that of the diatonic scale.
    • 1669, William Holder, Elements of Speech
      Four bells admit twenty-four changes in ringing.
  9. (dated) A place where merchants and others meet to transact business; an exchange.
  10. (Scotland, dated) A public house; an alehouse.
    • 1727-1728, Edward Burt, Letters from a Gentleman in the North of Scotland to his Friend in London
      They call an alehouse a change.

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.

Synonyms

Related terms

Derived terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also

References


French

Etymology

Deverbal from changer (corresponding to Old French change). Compare Medieval and Late Latin cambium.

Pronunciation

Noun

change m (plural changes)

  1. exchange

Derived terms

Verb

change

  1. first-person singular present indicative of changer
  2. third-person singular present indicative of changer
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of changer
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of changer
  5. second-person singular imperative of changer

Related terms

Further reading


Norman

Alternative forms

Etymology

Borrowed from French change and English change.

Noun

change m (plural changes)

  1. (Jersey) change
  2. (Jersey, money) exchange rate

Old French

Alternative forms

Etymology

Deverbal of changier.

Pronunciation

Noun

change m (oblique plural changes, nominative singular changes, nominative plural change)

  1. change (difference between one state and another)
  2. exchange
    • late 12th century, anonymous, La Folie de Tristan d'Oxford, page 368 (of the Champion Classiques edition of Le Roman de Tristan, ->ISBN, line 289:
      Fesum bargaine, fesum change
      Let's make a bargain, let's make an exchange

Descendants

  • -> Middle English: change
  • French: change

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