Shapeshifter vs Changeling - What's the difference?

shapeshifter | changeling |


As nouns the difference between shapeshifter and changeling

is that shapeshifter is (fantasy|mythology) a creature capable of changing its appearance or form at will while changeling is (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.

shapeshifter

English

(Shapeshifting)

Noun

(en noun)
  • (fantasy, mythology) A creature capable of changing its appearance or form at will
  • * 2000: Glen Cook, Water Sleeps
  • The shapeshifter Lisa Bowalk, unable to shed the guise of a black panther, had gone onto the plain as a prisoner but was not now to be found among the dead above or the Captured down below.
  • * 2003: Michael Bathgate, The Fox's Craft in Japanese Religion and Folklore: Shapeshifters, Transformations and Duplicities
  • Like the teller of shapeshifter' stories—who conjures a shifting world of perceptions and expectations for his or her audience that is strikingly similar to the worlds created by the ' shapeshifter for its victims—the cultural practice of imagination...is an inherently shifty enterprise....
  • * 2004: Devin Grayson, Smallville: City
  • There have also been verified reports of fire-starters and ice-makers and a shapeshifter so powerful she was able to frame another Smallville citizen for a bank robbery!

    changeling

    English

    Noun

    (en noun)
  • (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.
  • (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.
  • (Macaulay)
  • * Dryden
  • Changelings and fools of heaven, and thence shut out.
  • (obsolete) One apt to change; a waverer.
  • * Shakespeare
  • Fickle changelings .

    Synonyms

    * (sense, fairy's child) oaf (obsolete) * (being that can change shape) shape-shifter * (a child exchanged for another)