verb (used with object), changed, chang·ing.
verb (used without object), changed, chang·ing.
- to take turns with another, as at doing a task.
- to alternate between two tasks or between a task and a rest break.
- to perform all permutations possible in ringing a set of tuned bells, as in a bell tower of a church.
- to vary the manner of performing an action or of discussing a subject; repeat with variations.
Origin of change
Synonyms for change
Antonyms for change
- militaryto redeploy (a force in the field) so that its main weight of weapons points in another direction
- to alter one's attitude, opinion, etc
Word Origin for change
c.1200, "act or fact of changing," from Anglo-French chaunge, Old French change "exchange, recompense, reciprocation," from changier (see change (v.)).
Meaning "a different situation" is from 1680s. Meaning "something substituted for something else" is from 1590s. The financial sense of "balance returned when something is paid for" is first recorded 1620s; hence to make change (1865). Bell-ringing sense is from 1610s. Related: changes. Figurative phrase change of heart is from 1828.
early 13c., "to substitute one for another; to make (something) other than what it was" (transitive); from late 13c. as "to become different" (intransitive), from Old French changier "to change, alter; exchange, switch," from Late Latin cambiare "to barter, exchange," from Latin cambire "to exchange, barter," of Celtic origin, from PIE root *kemb- "to bend, crook" (with a sense evolution perhaps from "to turn" to "to change," to "to barter"); cf. Old Irish camm "crooked, curved;" Middle Irish cimb "tribute," cimbid "prisoner;" see cant (n.2). Meaning "to take off clothes and put on other ones" is from late 15c. Related: Changed; changing. To change (one's) mind is from 1610s.
Alternate, or take turns. This phrase is used either for two individuals alternately performing a task, as in Lifting cement blocks is such heavy work that they decided to change off periodically, or for one person alternately performing two tasks, as in I can concentrate on this book only for short periods so I frequently change off and work in the garden. Also see change of pace.
In addition to the idioms beginning with change
- change hands
- change horses in midstream, don't
- change off
- change of heart
- change of life
- change of pace
- change one's mind
- change one's stripes
- change one's tune
- change the subject
- for a change
- leopard cannot change its spots
- piece of change
- ring the changes