- a child surreptitiously or unintentionally substituted for another.
- (in folklore) an ugly, stupid, or strange child left by fairies in place of a pretty, charming child.
- Philately. a postage stamp that, by accident or intention, has been chemically changed in color.
- a renegade or turncoat.
- an imbecile.
Origin of changeling
Related Words for changelingsurrogate, backup, replacement, stand-in, vicar, alternate, deputy, expediency, proxy, stopgap, sub, supply, makeshift, resort, symbol, fill-in, delegate, temporary, relay, assistant
Examples from the Web for changeling
Contemporary Examples of changeling
To be fair, and slightly ashamed of myself, I did not watch Changeling.If I Ran the Oscars
January 23, 2009
Historical Examples of changeling
The changeling inherits, and the process is repeated, step by step.The Cuckoo Clock
They then reproached me, saying, I was a changeling, and an evil spirit.The Autobiography of Madame Guyon
Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon
What was the dear Pums saying with regard to her changeling?
I tell you I'm a changeling, and changelings can't be taught.
She called Irene a fairy, a changeling, and nothing could soothe her or comfort her.
- a child believed to have been exchanged by fairies for the parents' true child
- an idiot
- a fickle or changeable person
1550s, "one given to change," from change (n.) + diminutive suffix -ling. Meaning "person or thing left in place of one secretly taken" is from 1560s; specific reference to an infant or young child (usually stupid or ugly) supposedly left by the faeries in place of one they took is from 1580s. An earlier word for it was oaf or auf.