change front, Military. to shift a military force in another direction.
    change hands. hand(def 47).
    change one's mind, to change one's opinions or intentions.
    ring the changes,
    1. to perform all permutations possible in ringing a set of tuned bells, as in a bell tower of a church.
    2. to vary the manner of performing an action or of discussing a subject; repeat with variations.

Origin of change

1175–1225; (v.) Middle English cha(u)ngen < Anglo-French, Old French changer < Late Latin cambiāre, Latin cambīre to exchange; (noun) Middle English cha(u)nge < Anglo-French, Old French, noun derivative of the v.
Related formschang·ed·ness [cheyn-jid-nis, cheynjd-] /ˈtʃeɪn dʒɪd nɪs, ˈtʃeɪndʒd-/, nounun·changed, adjectiveun·chang·ing, adjectiveun·chang·ing·ly, adverbun·chang·ing·ness, noun

Synonyms for change

Synonym study

1. Change, alter both mean to make a difference in the state or condition of a thing or to substitute another state or condition. To change is to make a material difference so that the thing is distinctly different from what it was: to change one's opinion. To alter is to make some partial change, as in appearance, but usually to preserve the identity: to alter a dress, as by raising the hem ( to change a dress would mean to put on a different one).

Antonyms for change

11. remain. 19. permanence. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for change one's mind



to make or become different; alter
(tr) to replace with or exchange for anotherto change one's name
(sometimes foll by to or into) to transform or convert or be transformed or converted
to give and receive (something) in return; interchangeto change places with someone
(tr) to give or receive (money) in exchange for the equivalent sum in a smaller denomination or different currency
(tr) to remove or replace the coverings ofto change a baby
(when intr, may be foll by into or out of) to put on other clothes
(intr) (of the moon) to pass from one phase to the following one
to operate (the gear lever of a motor vehicle) in order to alter the gear ratioto change gear
to alight from (one bus, train, etc) and board another
change face to rotate the telescope of a surveying instrument through 180° horizontally and vertically, taking a second sighting of the same object in order to reduce error
change feet informal to put on different shoes, boots, etc
change front
  1. militaryto redeploy (a force in the field) so that its main weight of weapons points in another direction
  2. to alter one's attitude, opinion, etc
change hands to pass from one owner to another
change one's mind to alter one's decision or opinion
change one's tune to alter one's attitude or tone of speech


the act or fact of changing or being changed
a variation, deviation, or modification
the substitution of one thing for another; exchange
anything that is or may be substituted for something else
variety or novelty (esp in the phrase for a change)I want to go to France for a change
a different or fresh set, esp of clothes
money given or received in return for its equivalent in a larger denomination or in a different currency
the balance of money given or received when the amount tendered is larger than the amount due
coins of a small denomination regarded collectively
(often capital) archaic a place where merchants meet to transact business; an exchange
the act of passing from one state or phase to another
the transition from one phase of the moon to the next
the order in which a peal of bells may be rung
sport short for changeover (def. 3b)
slang desirable or useful information
obsolete fickleness or caprice
change of heart a profound change of outlook, opinion, etc
get no change out of someone slang not to be successful in attempts to exploit or extract information from someone
ring the changes to vary the manner or performance of an action that is often repeated
Derived Formschangeless, adjectivechangelessly, adverbchangelessness, nounchanger, noun

Word Origin for change

C13: from Old French changier, from Latin cambīre to exchange, barter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for change one's mind



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with change one's mind

change one's mind

Alter one's views or intentions, as in I can always change my mind about going on this trip. [Early 1600s]


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

also see:

  • for a change
  • leopard cannot change its spots
  • piece of change
  • ring the changes
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.