c. 1600, "position, situation; disposition of the several parts of anything with respect to one another or a particular purpose," especially of the body, "pose," from French posture (16c.), from Italian postura "position, posture," from Latin positura "position, station," from postulus from past participle stem of ponere "to put, place" (see position (n.)). The figurative sense of "a state of being or attitude in relation to circumstances" is from 1640s. Related: Postural.
1620s, transitive, "to place, set," from posture (n.). Intransitive sense of "assume a particular posture of the body, dispose the body in a particular attitude" is by 1851 (at first in reference to contortionists). The figurative sense of "take up an artificial position of the mind or character" (hence "display affectation") is attested by 1877. Related: Postured; posturing.
c. 1200, "to alter, make different, change" (transitive); early 13c. as "to substitute one for another;" mid-13c. as "to make (something) other than what it was, cause to turn or pass from one state to another;" from late 13c. as "to become different, be altered" (intransitive), from Old French changier "to change, alter; exchange, switch," from Late Latin cambiare "to barter, exchange," extended form of Latin cambire "to exchange, barter." This is held to be of Celtic origin, from PIE root *kemb- "to bend, crook" (with a sense evolution perhaps from "to turn" to "to change," to "to barter"); cognate with Old Irish camm "crooked, curved;" Middle Irish cimb "tribute," cimbid "prisoner;" see cant (n.2).
From c. 1300 as "undergo alteration, become different." In part an abbreviation of exchange. From late 14c. especially as "to give an equivalent for in smaller parts of the same kind" (money). The meaning "to take off clothes and put on other ones" is from late 15c. Related: Changed;changing. To change (one's) mind is from 1590s.
c. 1200, "act or fact of changing," from Anglo-French chaunge, Old French change "exchange, recompense, reciprocation," from changier "to alter; exchange; to switch" (see change (v.)). Related: changes.
The meaning "a different situation, variety, novelty" is from 1680s (as in for a change, 1690s). The meaning "something substituted for something else" is from 1590s. The sense of "place where merchants meet to do business" is from c. 1400. The meaning "the passing from life to death" is biblical (161os).
The financial sense of "balance of money returned after deducting the price of a purchase from the sum paid" is recorded by 1620s; hence to make change (by 1865).
The bell-ringing sense is from 1610s, "any sequence other than the diatonic;" hence the figurative phrase ring changes "repeat in every possible order" (1610s). The figurative phrase change of heart is from 1828. In reference to women, change of life "final cessation of menstruation" is recorded from 1834.
also shortchange, "to cheat by giving too little change to," by 1893, American English (implied in short-changed), from adjectival expression short-change (with man, worker, operator, trick, racket, etc.), by 1886, from short (adj.) + change (n.) in the money sense. In late 19c. they were among the shady hangers on of traveling circuses. The noun phrase short change for "insufficient change" is attested by 1850. Related: Short-changing.
phrase expressing the fundamental immutability of life, human situations, etc., 1903, French, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (1849), literally "the more it changes, the more it stays the same."
1660s, "posture or position of a figure in a statue or painting," via French attitude (17c.), from Italian attitudine "disposition, posture," also "aptness, promptitude," from Late Latin aptitudinem (nominative aptitudo; see aptitude, which is its doublet).
Originally 17c. a technical term in art; later generalized to "a posture of the body supposed to imply some mental state" (1725). The sense of "a settled behavior reflecting feeling or opinion" is by 1837. The meaning "habitual mode of regarding" is short for attitude of mind (1757). Connotations of "antagonistic and uncooperative" developed by 1962 in slang.
Attitude is generally studied for the sake of looking graceful ; hence it is sometimes affected, the practice of it being then called attitudinizing. An attitude is often taken intentionally for the purpose of imitation or exemplification ; generally attitude is more artistic than posture. [Century Dictionary]