Meaning of “change” in the English Dictionary

"change" in English

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uk /tʃeɪndʒ/ us /tʃeɪndʒ/

change verb (BECOME DIFFERENT)

A1 [ T ] to exchange one thing for another thing, especially of a similar type:

She's just changed jobs.
Let's change the subject (= talk about something different).

A2 [ I or T ] to make or become different:

I almost didn't recognize her - she'd changed so much.
That was 20 years ago and things have changed since then.
Nothing changes, does it - I've been away two years and the office still looks exactly the same.
People have changed their diets a lot over the past few years.
I'm going to change my hairstyle.

B1 [ I or T ] UK US exchange to take something you have bought back to a shop and exchange it for something else:

I had to change those trousers I bought for (= take them back to the shop in order to get) a bigger pair.
change your mind

B1 to form a new opinion or make a new decision about something that is different from your old one:

If you change your mind about coming tonight, just give me a call.
When I first met him I didn't like him but I've changed my mind.
change for the better

to improve:

Her attitude has definitely changed for the better since she started this new job.
change your ways

to improve the bad parts of your behaviour:

If he wants to carry on living here, he's going to have to change his ways and learn to be a bit less messy.

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change verb (TRANSPORT)

A2 [ I or T ] to get off a train, bus, etc. and catch another in order to continue a journey:

I had to change (trains) twice to get there.
Change at Peterborough for York.

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change verb (MONEY)

A2 [ T ] to get or give money in exchange for money, either because you want it in smaller units, or because you want the same value in foreign money:

Could you change a £10 note (for two fives), please?
Could you change a £5 note for me?
I need to change my dollars for/into English money.

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change verb (CLOTHES/BEDS)

A2 [ I or T ] to remove one set of clothes and put a different set on yourself or a young child, especially a baby, or to remove dirty sheets from a bed and put clean ones on it:

You don't need to change - you look great as you are.
I'll just change into (= get dressed in) something a bit smarter.
Give me five minutes to change out of (= remove) my work clothes and I'll come out with you.
How often do you think he changes his shirt?
Could you change the baby (= the baby's nappy)?
I've changed the sheets/the bed (= the sheets on the bed) in the guest room.

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change verb (SPEED)

[ I or T ] US usually shift to put a vehicle into a different gear, usually in order to change the speed at which it is moving:

to change gear
I changed into fourth (gear).
UK Change down to go round the corner.


uk /tʃeɪndʒ/ us /tʃeɪndʒ/


A2 [ C or U ] the act of becoming different, or the result of something becoming different:

Let me know if there's any change in the situation.
We're living in a time of great change.
We need a change of government.
a change in lifestyle
They've made a lot of changes to the house.
The new management will make fundamental/radical/sweeping changes (= do things in a very different way).

B1 [ S ] something that is pleasant or interesting because it is unusual or new:

It's nice to see her smile for a change.
"Shall we we eat in the garden?" "Why not - it'll make a change."
We've always had a red car - it's time we had a change!
change of scene

a new situation:

She'd been with the same company for too many years and felt she needed a change of scene, so she applied for a job as a stage manager.

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change noun (MONEY)

A2 [ U ] money in the form of coins rather than notes:

She gave me €5 in change.
My dad always used to carry a lot of loose/small change (= coins) in his pocket.

[ U ] smaller units of money given in exchange for larger units of the same amount:

Do you have change for a 20-dollar bill?

A2 [ U ] the money that is returned to someone who has paid for something that costs less than the amount that they gave:

I think you've given me the wrong change.

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change noun (CLOTHES)

[ C ] the action of putting on different clothes:

She did a quick change before going on TV.
a change of clothes

A2 a set of clothes as well as the ones that you are wearing:

You'll need a change of clothes if you're staying overnight.

(Definition of “change” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"change" in American English

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us /tʃeɪndʒ/

change verb (BECOME DIFFERENT)

[ I/T ] to make or become different, or to do, use, or get one thing in place of another thing:

[ T ] I’ve changed jobs twice in the past ten years.
[ T ] I changed my hairstyle – do you like it?
[ I ] Attitudes about lots of things changed during the 1960s.
[ I ] It’s surprising how fast kids change during their teen years.

[ I/T ] To change over from one thing to something else is to stop doing or using one thing and to start doing or using another:

[ I ] We just changed from oil heat to gas.

change verb (CLOTHES/BEDS)

[ I/T ] to remove one set of clothes and put a different set on yourself or someone else, such as a baby, or to remove dirty sheets from a bed and put clean ones on it:

[ I ] I’ll just change into (= put on) something a little dressier.
[ T ] Could you change the baby/the baby’s diaper (= put on a clean one)?
[ T ] I changed the sheets/the bed (= the sheets on the bed) in the guest room.

change verb (MONEY)

[ T ] to get or give money in exchange for money, either because you want it in smaller units, or because you want the same value in foreign money:

Can you change a $100 bill for me?
I had to change some American money into pesetas before I arrived in Spain.

change verb (TRANSPORT)

[ I/T ] to get off an aircraft, train, bus, etc. and catch another in order to continue a trip:

[ T ] I had to change planes twice to get there.
[ I ] Change at Hartford for the train to Springfield.


us /tʃeɪndʒ/


a change

A change often refers to something unusual or new that is better or more pleasant than what existed before:

We decided we needed a change, so we went to Florida for a couple of weeks.
Why don’t we eat on the porch for a change?

change noun (MONEY)

[ U ] the difference in money, returned to the buyer, between what is paid for something and the lesser amount that it costs:

It costs $17 and you gave me $20, so here’s your $3 change.

[ U ] Change also refers to smaller units of money whose total value is equal to that of a larger unit:

I need change for a $50 bill because I want to take a taxi.
Do you have change for/of a dollar?

[ U ] Change can refer to coins rather than bills:

Bring a lot of change for using the public telephones.

change noun (CLOTHES/BEDS)

[ C ] a set of clothes that is additional to the clothes that you are wearing:

Bring a change of clothes with you in case we stay overnight.

(Definition of “change” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"change" in Business English

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uk /tʃeɪndʒ/ us

[ I or T ] to become or make something different, or to exchange something for something else:

The company has changed considerably since I joined in 2005.
She decided that it was time to change jobs.

[ T ] MONEY to exchange an amount of money for the same value in another currency:

If you're unable to change money before you travel, most international airports will have a bureau de change.
change sth into sth Here you'll find the best exchange rate for changing your US dollars into euros.

[ T ] MONEY to exchange a unit of money for coins or smaller units of paper money that add up to the same value:

Could you change this twenty dollar bill for a ten and two fives?
Many superstores have change machines where you can change your coins into banknotes.

[ T ] UK COMMERCE to return something you bought to a store and exchange it for something new, for example because it was damaged or the wrong size. A store changes an item when it agrees to give a customer a new item in exchange for one that is damaged, etc.:

Some places won't let you change items without a receipt.
The store offered to change the faulty items or refund my money.
change hands

to pass from one owner to another:

More than 30 million shares changed hands in the first hour of business.


uk /tʃeɪndʒ/ us

[ C or U ] the process or result of making something different or becoming different:

change to sth After making changes to its business model, the company's net profits increased by 22%.
change in sth Owing to a change in policy, customers will now be charged a fee for early withdrawals.
implement/make a change The new head of department is certain to make some changes.
manage change One of the hardest aspects of being a top manager is managing change.
a fundamental/major/significant change
Please notify us of any change of address.

[ U ] MONEY coins used as money:

Do you have any change for the parking meter?

[ U ] MONEY smaller units of money or coins given in exchange for a larger unit of money that is worth the same amount:

Can you make change for a 100 dollar bill?

[ U ] MONEY the money that is returned to you after you have paid for something that costs less than the amount you gave:

I think the waiter gave me the wrong change.

(Definition of “change” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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There perhaps has to be a certain irony that we, as legislators, spend much of our time demanding change and modernisation of those we legislate for.
We have systems which are financially unsustainable, whose treatment of the younger and future generations is wicked, and yet we cannot muster the political will to change the situation.
The change to the transport system should be funded from profits and from direct taxes that increase progressively on the basis of income.
They must strengthen their fight to defend and extend their achievements, to demolish the structure being built by the exploiters and to finally change society.
In this context, there is a need for a radical change to the legislation governing international shipping and a review of the old conventions that do not include these principles.
We must change working life in such a way that people can remain actively in work and not be excluded from it.
We cannot change this option envisaged in the basic regulation and make it a general obligation in a secondary regulation; there are legal obstacles to this.
Another pressing concern is the disappearance of, or change in, the range of international trains that is therefore not being identified.
A change in status from student to immigrant worker is of course possible, but is outside the scope of the directive in question.
They are threatened by climate change, prolonged drought, and by the considerable pressure exerted on wetlands and protected areas by developers and indeed administrations.