Definition of changeling in US English:

changeling

noun

  • A child believed to have been secretly substituted by fairies for the parents' real child in infancy.

    • ‘Yes, some will even begin to realize that they too are all changelings lost among the dark hollows of this bright earth, their deeper selves unknown, asleep.’
    • ‘Perhaps he was rescued, and a substitute or changeling died instead?’
    • ‘They carry off mortals, most often children, if they are beautiful or otherwise exceptional, leaving a changeling behind.’
    • ‘It's a simple, blunt question for a person who felt like a changeling in someone else's family.’
    • ‘In the Middle Ages, deformed infants were looked upon as changelings.’
    • ‘If placed in a cradle it will protect the child from being stolen by fairies and replaced with changelings.’
    • ‘So her heroine begins as the deserted changeling waiting to be rescued, and goes through cycles of wickedness and distraction before finding her destiny.’
    • ‘The changelings look identical, but the human mother can tell that it is not really her human baby, because it is far more sulky and difficult.’
    • ‘Titania first appears in a blue silk ball gown, carrying the changeling as a baby.’
    • ‘As in the Bard's plot, there is the Fairy King Oberon at odds over a changeling boy with his Fairy Queen Titanis and a number of starcrossed lovers in The Faerie Queen.’
    • ‘Despite her good deeds, this wizened enchantress's sinister duality surfaces when she senses the threat of a changeling among the Quinn clan.’
    • ‘Fielding himself could be a changeling, or some mischief-making elf out to screw with everyone's minds.’
    • ‘The quarreling between Oberon and Titania over the changeling boy leads to the king wanting to embarrass Titania with the love juice by making her fall in love with a monster.’
    • ‘But David was just supposed to be a mechanical changeling.’
    • ‘If the narrator is both the mother and the child, it can be said that there is only one, multi-voiced character all along, a trickster-like changeling.’
    • ‘Physically and metaphorically these two changelings are very different.’
    • ‘I don't know if she's a changeling as well, but we'll soon find out, won't we?’
    • ‘Oberon reports to Robin that the enchanted Titania has given him the changeling, and proceeds to undo the spell: waking, Titania at first thinks her passion for Bottom was a dream before seeing him asleep.’
    • ‘The changeling is the quintessential symbol of the child who feels detached from her family.’
    • ‘Stevie and Mikie had been known to enquire whether they were in fact changelings, as they looked nothing like any known relative on either side.’

Pronunciation

changeling

/ˈCHānjliNG//ˈtʃeɪndʒlɪŋ/