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change (chānj)
v. changed, chang·ing, chang·es
v. tr.
a. To cause to be different; alter: We decided to change the color of the walls. You can't change the rules in the middle of the game.
b. To give a completely different form or appearance to; transform: The new homeowners changed the yard into a garden.
2. To give and receive reciprocally; interchange: Anne and I changed seats so that she could sit next to the aisle.
3. To exchange for or replace with another, usually of the same kind or category: change one's name; a light that changes colors.
a. To lay aside, abandon, or leave for another; switch: change methods; change sides.
b. To transfer from (one conveyance) to another: In Chicago, we'll have to change planes.
5. To give or receive the equivalent of (money) in lower denominations or in foreign currency: This machine will change dollar bills into coins. At the airport, the traveler changed British pounds into euros.
6. To put fresh clothes or coverings on: It's your turn to change the baby. I'll show you how to change the bed.
v. intr.
1. To become different or undergo alteration: He changed as he matured. The town grew and changed over the years.
2. To undergo transformation or transition: The music changed to a slow waltz.
3. To go from one phase to another, as the moon or the seasons.
4. To make an exchange; switch: If you prefer this seat, I'll change with you.
5. To transfer from one conveyance to another: She changed in Detroit on her way to California.
6. To put on other clothing: We changed for dinner. They changed into work clothes.
7. To become deeper in tone: His voice began to change at age 13.
1. The act, process, or result of altering or modifying: a change in facial expression; a last-minute change in the schedule.
2. The replacing of one thing for another; substitution: a change of atmosphere; a change of ownership.
3. A transformation or transition from one state, condition, or phase to another: the change of seasons.
4. Something different; variety: ate early for a change.
5. A different or fresh set of clothing: I brought along a change of shirts to the overnight party.
a. Money of smaller denomination given or received in exchange for money of higher denomination: Will you give me change of four quarters for a dollar?
b. The balance of money returned when an amount given is more than what is due: I paid $3 for the coffee that cost $2.50, so I received 50 cents in change.
c. Coins: Loose change was jingling in my pocket.
7. Music
a. A pattern or order in which bells are rung.
b. In jazz, a change of harmony; a modulation.
8. A market or exchange where business is transacted.
Phrasal Verb:
change off
1. To alternate with another person in performing a task.
2. To perform two tasks at once by alternating or a single task by alternate means.
change hands
To pass from one owner to another: The store changed hands last summer.
change (one's) mind
To reverse a previously held opinion or an earlier decision.
change (one's) tune
To alter one's approach or attitude.

[Middle English changen, from Norman French chaunger, from Latin cambiāre, cambīre, to exchange, probably of Celtic origin.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.