Etymology
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permute (v.)

late 14c., permuten, "to change one for another, to interchange," from Old French permuter and directly from Latin permutare "to change thoroughly," from per "thoroughly" (see per) + mutare "to change" (from PIE root *mei- (1) "to change, go, move"). The mathematical sense is from 1878 (see permutation).

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commute (v.)

mid-15c., "to change (something into something else), transform," from Latin commutare "to often change, to change altogether," from com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + mutare "to change" (from PIE root *mei- (1) "to change, go, move").

Sense of "make less severe" is from 1630s; sense of "exchange, put in place of another" is from 1630s. Meaning "substitute one sort of burden for another" is from 1640s.

Meaning "go back and forth to work" is attested by 1889, from commutation ticket "a season pass" on a railroad, streetcar line, etc. (1848), from commute in its sense of "to change one kind of payment into another" (1795), especially "to combine a number of payments into a single one, pay a single sum instead of a number of successive payments" (1845). Related: Commuted; commuting; commutable.

The noun meaning "a journey made in commuting" is attested by 1960. Also compare commuter.

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metamorphic (adj.)

1833 (Lyell) in the geological sense, "exhibiting change in form or structure," in reference to rock whose form has been changed by heat or pressure, from Greek meta "trans-" (see meta-) + morphē "form," a word of uncertain origin. Earlier (1816) in a theological sense, "characterized by change of form," from metamorphosis + -ic.

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comeuppance (n.)

also comeupance, "one's deserts, reversal or punishment that one deserves," 1859, presumably it is rooted in the same notion in the verbal phrase come up "present oneself for judgment before a tribunal" (see come + up (adv.)) + -ance.

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un- (2)
prefix of reversal, deprivation, or removal (as in unhand, undo, unbutton), Old English on-, un-, from Proto-Germanic *andi- (source also of Old Saxon ant-, Old Norse and-, Dutch ont-, Old High German ant-, German ent-, Gothic and- "against"), from PIE *anti "facing opposite, near, in front of, before, against" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before").

More or less confused with un- (1) through similarity in the notions of "negation" and "reversal;" an adjective such as unlocked might represent "not locked" (un- (1)) or the past tense of unlock (un- (2)).
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transmogrify (v.)
"to change completely," 1650s, apparently a perversion of transmigure, from transmigrate, perhaps influenced by modify. Related: Transmogrified; transmogrifying.
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setback (n.)
also set-back, 1670s, "reversal, check to progress," from set (v.) + back (adv.). Sometimes backset (1721) was used in the same sense. Meaning "space between a building and a property line" is from 1916. To set (someone) back "cost" is from 1900.
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transmutation (n.)

late 14c., from Old French transmutacion "transformation, change, metamorphosis" (12c.), from Late Latin transmutationem (nominative transmutatio) "a change, shift," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin transmutare "change from one condition to another," from trans "across, beyond; thoroughly" (see trans-) + mutare "to change" (from PIE root *mei- (1) "to change, go, move"). A word from alchemy.

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vicissitude (n.)

"a passing from one state to another," whether regular or not, 1560s, from French vicissitude (14c.), from Latin vicissitudinem (nominative vicissitudo) "change, interchange, alternation," from vicissim (adv.) "changeably, on the other hand, by turns, in turn," from vicis "a turn, change" (from PIE root *weik- (2) "to bend, to wind"). Related: Vicissitudes.

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interchange (v.)
late 14c., enterchaungen, "to give and receive reciprocally; to alternate, put each in place of the other" (trans.), also "change reciprocally" (intrans.), from Old French entrechangier "interchange, exchange," from entre- "between" (see inter-) + changier "to change" (see change (v.)). Related: Interchanged; interchanging.
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