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.
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.
1670s in botany, "layer of tissue between the wood and the bark," from Late Latin cambium "exchange," from Latin cambiare "change" (see change (v.)).