exchange vs interchange what difference

what is difference between exchange and interchange



  • IPA(key): /ɛksˈtʃeɪndʒ/
  • Rhymes: -eɪndʒ

Etymology 1

From Middle English eschaunge, borrowed from Anglo-Norman eschaunge, from Old French eschange (whence modern French échange), from the verb eschanger, from Vulgar Latin *excambiāre, present active infinitive of *excambiō (from Latin ex with Late Latin cambiō). Spelling later changed on the basis of ex- in English.


exchange (countable and uncountable, plural exchanges)

  1. An act of exchanging or trading.
  2. A place for conducting trading.
  3. A telephone exchange.
  4. (telephony, US) The fourth through sixth digits of a ten-digit phone number (the first three before the introduction of area codes).
  5. A conversation.
  6. (chess) The loss of one piece and associated capture of another
    1. (usually with “the”) The loss of a relatively minor piece (typically a bishop or knight) and associated capture of the more advantageous rook
  7. (obsolete) The thing given or received in return; especially, a publication exchanged for another.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  8. (biochemistry) The transfer of substances or elements like gas, amino-acids, ions etc. sometimes through a surface like a membrane.
  9. (finance) The difference between the values of money in different places.
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From Middle English eschaungen, from Anglo-Norman eschaungier, Old French eschanger, from the Old French verb eschangier, eschanger (whence modern French échanger), from Vulgar Latin *excambiāre, present active infinitive of *excambiō (from Latin ex with Late Latin cambiō). Gradually displaced native Old English wrixlan, wixlan (to change, exchange, reciprocate) and its descendants, wrixle being one of them.


exchange (third-person singular simple present exchanges, present participle exchanging, simple past and past participle exchanged)

  1. (transitive) To trade or barter.
    I’ll gladly exchange my place for yours.
  2. (transitive) To replace with, as a substitute.
    I’d like to exchange this shirt for one in a larger size.
    Since his arrest, the mob boss has exchanged a mansion for a jail cell.
  • (trade or barter): truck, wrixle; See also Thesaurus:trade or Thesaurus:barter
  • (replace with a substitute): interchange, swap; See also Thesaurus:switch
Derived terms

Further reading

  • exchange in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • exchange in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • exchange at OneLook Dictionary Search



From Old French entrechange


  • Rhymes: -eɪndʒ
  • (Received Pronunciation) enPR: ĭntə(r)chānj’, IPA(key): /ɪntə(ɹ)ˈtʃeɪndʒ/
  • (US) enPR: ĭntərchānj’, IPA(key): /ɪntɚˈtʃeɪndʒ/
  • (Received Pronunciation) enPR: ĭn’tə(r)chānj, IPA(key): /ˈɪntə(ɹ).tʃeɪndʒ/
  • (US) enPR: ĭn’tərchānj, IPA(key): /ˈɪntɚtʃeɪndʒ/


interchange (third-person singular simple present interchanges, present participle interchanging, simple past and past participle interchanged)

  1. (transitive) to switch (each of two things)
    to interchange places
  2. (transitive) to mutually give and receive (something); to exchange
  3. (intransitive) to swap or change places
  4. (transitive) to alternate; to intermingle or vary
    to interchange cares with pleasures
  5. (transport) To act as or carry out an interchange (noun, senses 2, 3).


  • (to switch each of two things): exchange, swap; See also Thesaurus:switch
  • (to mutually give and receive something): exchange, trade; See also Thesaurus:trade
  • (to change places):
  • (to alternate): See also Thesaurus:alternate or Thesaurus:mix



interchange (countable and uncountable, plural interchanges)

  1. An act of interchanging.
  2. A highway junction in which traffic may change from one road to another without crossing a stream of traffic.
  3. (rail transport) A connection between two or more lines, services or modes of transport; a station at which such a connection can be made.

Usage notes

Generally the rail transport sense of “interchange” applies to connections within the same station, or from two close-by stations. Sometimes, especially within the context of public transport in London, “interchange” is restricted to within-station connections only with outerchange used for those that involve leaving the station.


  • (rail transport): outerchange (in some contexts only, see usage notes)

Derived terms

  • electronic data interchange
  • system interchange
  • transport interchange



  • “interchange”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

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