changeling (plural changelings)
- (mythology) In British, Irish and Scandinavian mythology, an infant of a fairy, sprite or troll that the creature has secretly exchanged for a human infant.
1961, Muriel Saint Clare Byrne, Elizabethan Life in Town and Country, page 285:
- His nurse had told him all about changelings, and how the little people would always try to steal a beautiful human child out of its cradle and put in its stead one of their own ailing, puking brats […]
- (informal, rare) An infant secretly exchanged with another infant; swapling.
- (science fiction and fantasy) An organism which can change shape to mimic others.
- (obsolete) A simpleton; an idiot.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Macaulay to this entry?)
- Changelings and fools of heaven, and thence shut out.
- (obsolete) One apt to change; a waverer.
- Fickle changelings.
- (fairy's child): oaf (obsolete)
- (being that can change shape): shape-shifter
- (a child exchanged for another): swapling
(Mythology) an infant of a fairy, sprite or troll that the creature has secretly exchanged for a human infant