shapechanging n.

the act of or ability to shapechange

  • 1864 Old Italian Comedy: or Harlequin and Scaramouch in Dublin University Magazine Jan. 71/1 page image

    Glaucus, even in the first exulting sense of liberty, recollects that they have not a sou; but Proteus reminds him of his own powers of shape[-]changing. Glaucus objecting that under any form they must find something to eat, Proteus expresses his determination to become a cutpurse, or pickpocket.

  • 1950 C. A. Drummond Letter in Thrilling Wonder Stories Aug. 147/2 page image

    Seems to me James Blish had better [...] check up on European superstitions re lycanthropy. [...] North American Indians believed in shape-changing too.

  • 1964 H. R. E. Davidson Gods & Myths of Northern Europe 145

    In Ynglinga Saga, however, Snorri gives us a somewhat different picture, emphasizing Odin’s skill in magic lore, and his power of shapechanging.

  • 1969 M. Kurland Unicorn Girl xii. 153

    It felt funny, talking with a dinosaur’s mouth. Of course this was just a form of projection, not true shape-changing, but still, even to me I looked like a dinosaur.

  • 1989 M. Z. Bradley Heirs of Hammerfell xx. 285 Marion Zimmer Bradley bibliography

    Shapechanging has given rise to many legends; but I have never done it.

  • 1991 Locus Nov. 33/1

    Pat Murphy’s ‘South of Oregon City’ is a nice historical portrait of shapechanging in the Pacific Northwest.

  • 1991 C. S. Friedman Black Sun Rising xvii. 131

    Shapechanging is… technically feasible.

  • 1992 Locus June 58/3

    The outstanding tales here are fine additions to the literature of shapechanging.

  • 2013 P. Briggs Shifter’s Wolf vii. 155 page image Patricia Briggs bibliography

    She tried shapechanging once when nothing was paying attention to her, but the pain in her head kept distracting her.

Research requirements

antedating 1864

Research History
Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 1973 reprint of H.R. Ellis Davidson's "Gods and Myths of Northern Europe"; Cory Panshin found a cite in the 1964 first publication.
Douglas Winston submitted a 1969 cite from Michael Kurland's "The Unicorn Girl".
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2013 cite from Patricia Briggs.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 1950 cite from Thrilling Wonder Stories.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted an 1864 cite from the Dublin University Magazine.

Earliest cite in OED2: 1978.

Last modified 2022-02-01 20:20:18
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.