Date: 1100-1200
Language: Old French
Origin: changier, from Latin cambiare 'to exchange'


1 verb
change1 S1 W1

become different/make something different

[intransitive and transitive] to become different, or to make something become different:
Susan has changed a lot since I last saw her.
Changing your eating habits is the best way to lose weight.
The rules won't change overnight (=change quickly).
The leaves on trees change colour in the autumn.
change (from something) to something
He changed from being a nice lad to being rude and unhelpful.
change into
The hissing sound gradually changed into a low hum.
change somebody/something into something
A witch had changed him into a mouse.
change something to something
Mueller changed his name to Miller when he became a U.S. citizen.
change drastically/radically/profoundly etc
Attitudes towards sexuality have radically changed.

start doing/using something different

[intransitive and transitive]DS to stop doing or using one thing, and start doing or using something else instead [= switch]:
She changed jobs in May.
change (from something) to something
The company has recently changed to a more powerful computer system.
The ship changed course and headed south.
The company has had to change direction because of developments in technology.
Piper awkwardly tried to change the subject (=talk about something else).

replace something

[transitive] to put or use something new or different in place of something else, especially because it is old, damaged, or broken:
Three boys were changing a tyre by the side of the road.
When I lost my keys, we had to change all the locks.
change something (from something) to something
The time of the meeting has been changed from 11 a.m. to 10:30.
How often do you change cars (=buy a new car and sell the old one)?

change your mind

to change your decision, plan, or opinion about something:
Her father tried to get her to change her mind.
change your mind about
If you change your mind about the job, just give me a call.

change sides

to leave one party, group etc and join an opposing party, group etc :
It's quite rare for politicians to change sides.


a) [intransitive and transitive] to take off your clothes and put on different ones:
Francis came in while Jay was changing.
Change your dress - that one looks dirty.
change into/out of
Sara changed into her swimsuit and ran out for a quick swim.
You'd better go and get changed.
b) [transitive]DHB to put a clean nappy on a baby, or to put clean clothes on a baby or small child:
I bathed him and changed his diaper.
Can you change the baby?


[transitive] to take the dirty sheets off a bed and put on clean ones

exchange goods

[transitive] British English
a) to take back to a shop something that you have bought and get something different instead, especially because there is something wrong with it [= exchange American English]
change something for something
I bought these gloves for my daughter, but they're too large. Can I change them for a smaller size?
b) to give a customer something different instead of what they have bought, especially because there is something wrong with it [= exchange American English]
I'm sure the shop will change them for you.

exchange money

a) to get smaller units of money that add up to the same value as a larger unit:
Can you change a £20 note?
b) PEC to get money from one country for the same value of money from another country
change something into/for something
I want to change my dollars into pesos, please.


[intransitive and transitive]TT to get off one train, bus, or aircraft and into another in order to continue your journey
change at
Passengers for Liverpool should change at Crewe.
change trains/buses/planes etc
I had to change planes in Denver.
all change! (=used to tell passengers to get off a train because it does not go any further)

change hands

if property changes hands, it starts to belong to someone else:
The house has changed hands three times in the last two years.

change places (with somebody)

a) to give someone your place and take their place:
Would you mind changing places with me so I can sit next to my friend?
b) to take someone else's social position or situation in life instead of yours:
She may be rich, but I wouldn't want to change places with her.


TTC [intransitive and transitive] to put the engine of a vehicle into a higher or lower gear in order to go faster or slower
change (into/out of) gear
Change into second gear as you approach the corner.
change up/down British English
Change down before you get to the hill.

change your tune

informal to start expressing a different attitude and reacting in a different way, after something has happened:
The question is, will the president change his tune on taxes?


[intransitive]DN if the wind changes, it starts to blow in a different direction

change your spots

to change your character completely:
US business has changed its spots in recent years.

➔ chop and change

at chop1 (3)
WORD FOCUS: change WORD FOCUS: change
to change something: alter, adapt, adjust, amend, modify, revise, vary

to change a system or organization: restructure, reorganize, reform

to change something completely: transform, revolutionize

to change facts or information, or change what someone has said: twist, distort, misrepresent

easily changed: flexible, adaptable

impossible to change: fixed, final, irrevocable

change something ↔ around

phrasal verb
to move things into different positions:
When we'd changed the furniture around, the room looked bigger.

change over

phrasal verb
to stop doing or using one thing and start doing or using another:
Complete all the exercises on one leg, then change over.
change over to
We hope to change over to the new software by next month.

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