change


change
change vb Change, alter, vary, modify (and their corresponding nouns change, alteration, variation, modification) are comparable when denoting to make or become different (or when denoting a difference effected). Change and alter are sometimes interchangeable; thus, conditions may change (or alter) for the better.
Change, however, usually implies either an essential difference, even a loss of identity, or the substitution of one thing for another
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can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?— Jer 13:23

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and Earth be changed to Heaven, and Heaven to Earth— Milton

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this chamber changed for one more holy— Poe

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while alter stresses difference in some particular respect (as in form or detail) without implying loss of identity
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one may alter a coat without changing its style

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the whole existing order must be, if ever so slightly, alteredT. S. Eliot

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external circumstances may change catastrophically, as during a war; or gradually, as when means of production are alteredHuxley

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Vary frequently implies a difference or a series of differences due to change (as by shifting, diversification, or growth)
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the temperature varies greatly during the day

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any intelligent effort to vary or improve the effect— Henry Adams

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Sometimes it implies a deviation from the normal, the conventional, or the usual
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the prospectus tendered by the Communists to the peasants varies with the type of discontent in the particular area— W. O. Douglas

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this is not a proceeding which may be varied . . . but is a precise course ... to be strictly pursued— John Marshall

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Modify suggests a difference that limits or restricts; thus, an adjective is said to modify a noun because it definitely reduces the range of application of that noun (as old in "old men" and red in "a red rose"). Often the word implies moderation (as of severity) or toning down (as of excess)
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the proximity of the ocean modifies the temperature— Amer. Guide Series: R. /.

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Sophia was at first set down as overbearing. But in a few days this view was modifiedBennett

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Modify may sometimes suggest minor changes or absence of radical changes
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history shows you men whose master-touch not so much modifies as makes anewBrowning

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the aeroplaneas it was called for many years before the word was modified to airplaneHarlow

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Analogous words: *transform, metamorphose, transmute, convert, transmogrify: *exchange, interchange: fluctuate, oscillate (see SWING vb)
Contrasted words: settle, *set, establish, fix: endure, abide, *continue, persist
change n
1 alteration, variation, modification (see under CHANGE vb)
Analogous words: *variety, diversity: divergence, *deviation, aberration
Antonyms: uniformity: monotony
2 Change, mutation, permutation, vicissitude, alternation are comparable especially in their concrete senses.
Change, the inclusive term, denotes not only any variation, alteration, or modification in a thing (as in its form, substance, or aspect) but also any substitution of one thing for another
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he could detect no change in her when they met again

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the body undergoes changes during puberty

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a change of season

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a change of clothes often makes a change in one's appearance

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poor faithful dogs, lovers of novelty and change of scene— Repplier

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Mutation and permutation are applied to a change within a thing or in a combina- of things regarded or functioning as a unit.
Mutation stresses lack of permanence or stability; it has been applied to variations or alterations that are expected only because they are inherent in the nature of things but are otherwise fortuitous or unaccountable
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O world! But that thy strange mutations make us hate thee, life would not yield to ageShak.

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More typically the term connotes suddenness and unpredictableness but seldom implies impossibility of explanation; often also it implies orderly change
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so far as reality means experienceable reality, both it and the truths men gain about it are everlastingly in process of mutationmutation towards a definite goal, it may be— James

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Permutation implies transposition within a group or combination of things without change in the constituent elements or parts of that group or combination. It is now used largely in reference to a change in position within a group of differentiable items (as digits, letters, colors, or sounds)
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the 26 letters of the alphabet are capable of endless combinations and permutations

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It may imply a rearrangement of constituent elements that effects a change in relations, emphasis, or significance and so gives a new form to what is substantially the same material
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conventions beget conventions, to be sure, and their ramifications and permutations are endless— Lowes

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by whatever permutations and combinations may be necessary, we may gradually move somewhat nearer to that reign of law— Davis

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Vicissitude (see also DIFFICULTY) implies a change so great as to seem a substitution for, or a reversal of, what has been. Sometimes it is applied to such changes as occur in natural succession or from one extreme to another
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Nature indeed vouchsafes for our delight the sweet vicissitudes of day and night— Cowper

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like walking in a wood where there is ... a constant vicissitude of light and shade—J. R. Lowell

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More often it is applied to a sweeping and unpredictable change that overturns what has been and so has the character of a revolution or an upheaval
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the place and the object gave ample scope for moralizing on the vicissitudes of fortune, which spares neither man nor the proudest of his works, which buries empires and cities in a common graveGibbon

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This implication of reversal is now so strong that the original implication of succession in turn is disappearing.
Alternation, though logically used only of the succession of two things in turn, is also used, as vicissitude once was, of two or more things
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the alternation of the seasons

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Analogous words: metamorphosis, transformation, conversion, transmutation, transmogrification (see under TRANSFORM): substitute, surrogate, shift (see RESOURCE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • change — [ ʃɑ̃ʒ ] n. m. • XIIe; de changer ♦ Action de changer une chose contre une autre. ⇒ changement, échange, troc. I ♦ 1 ♦ Loc. Gagner, perdre au change : être avantagé ou désavantagé lors d un échange. 2 ♦ (XIIIe; it. cambio) Action de changer une… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • change — change, social change One of the central problems of sociology . In the middle of the nineteenth century, the first attempts at sociological analysis were prompted by the need to explain two great waves of change that were sweeping across Europe …   Dictionary of sociology

  • change — CHANGE. s. m. Troc d une chose contre une autre. Ce mot n est guère d usage en ce sens que dans les phrases suivantes: Gagner au change. Perdre au change.Change, est aussi Le lieu où l on va changer des pièces de monnoie pour d autres, comme des… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • change — change; change·abil·i·ty; change·able; change·able·ness; change·ably; change·about; change·ful; change·less; change·ment; ex·change·able; in·ter·change·abil·i·ty; in·ter·change·able; change·ling; change·over; coun·ter·change; ex·change;… …   English syllables

  • change — CHANGE. s. m. Troc d une chose avec une autre. Vous ne gagnerez rien au change. change pour change. ce change ne vous est pas avantageux. Il se dit aussi, quand on quitte une chose pour une autre. Il aime le change. courir au change. Change, En… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • change — I verb adapt, adjust, alter, be converted, be inconstant, be irresolute, convert, convertere in, deviate, displace, diverge, evolve, exchange, fluctuate, give in exchange, go through phases, immutare, innovate, interchange, make a transition,… …   Law dictionary

  • Change — (ch[=a]nj), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Changed} (ch[=a]njd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Changing}.] [F. changer, fr. LL. cambiare, to exchange, barter, L. cambire. Cf. {Cambial}.] 1. To alter; to make different; to cause to pass from one state to another; as, to …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Change — Change, n. [F. change, fr. changer. See {Change}. v. t.] 1. Any variation or alteration; a passing from one state or form to another; as, a change of countenance; a change of habits or principles. [1913 Webster] Apprehensions of a change of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • change — [chānj] vt. changed, changing [ME changen < OFr changier < LL cambiare < L cambire, to exchange, barter < Celt (as in OIr camb) < IE base * kamb , to bend, crook (> Welsh cam, Bret kamm, crooked)] 1. to put or take (a thing) in… …   English World dictionary

  • change — Change, Permutatio pecuniae, Collybus, Bud. Et la place et endroit de la ville où les changeurs ont leurs boutiques. Selon ce on dit le pont aux changes. Et en fait de venerie Change est l opposite du droit, Estant le droit le Cerf qui a esté… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse


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