changeling

[ cheynj-ling ]
/ ˈtʃeɪndʒ lɪŋ /

noun

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.
Archaic.
  1. a renegade or turncoat.
  2. an imbecile.

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Origin of changeling

First recorded in 1545–55; change + -ling1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for changeling

British Dictionary definitions for changeling

changeling
/ (ˈtʃeɪndʒlɪŋ) /

noun

a child believed to have been exchanged by fairies for the parents' true child
archaic
  1. an idiot
  2. a fickle or changeable person
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