changeling

A changeling is a child who is suspected to not be a couple’s real child. As the myth goes, a changeling was substituted by fairies.

Do you ever feel like your parents might not be your real parents? Then maybe you’re a changeling. A changeling is part of a switcheroo by fairies who switch out a couple’s real baby with another baby. The new baby is the changeling. Fortunately, fairies are mythical creatures, so the concept of a changeling is also fanciful. The -ling part appears in many other Middle and Old English words: underling, hireling, duckling, and yearling, to name a few.

Definitions of changeling
  1. noun
    a child secretly exchanged for another in infancy
    see moresee less
    type of:
    child, fry, kid, minor, nestling, nipper, shaver, small fry, tiddler, tike, tyke, youngster
    a young person of either sex
  2. noun
    a person of subnormal intelligence
    synonyms: cretin, half-wit, idiot, imbecile, moron
    see moresee less
    type of:
    simple, simpleton
    a person lacking intelligence or common sense
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week