Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French changer, from Latin cambiare to exchange, probably of Celtic origin; akin to Old Irish camm crooked
Date: 13th century
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 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 <her mood changes every hour> 2. of the moon to pass from one phase to another 3. to shift one's means of conveyance ; transfer <on the bus trip he had to change twice> 4. of the voice to shift to lower register ; break 5. to undergo transformation, transition, or substitution <winter changed to spring> 6. to put on different clothes <need a few minutes to change for dinner> 7. exchange, switch <neither liked his seat so they changed with each other> • changer noun Synonyms: 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>. II. noun Date: 13th century 1. the act, process, or result of changing: 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 to another; also the passage of the moon from one phase to another e. menopause 2. a fresh set of clothes 3. British exchange 5a 4. 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 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 1 <cost a large chunk of change> 5. an order in which a set of bells is struck in change ringing 6. changeup
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.