noun \ˈswich\

: a small device that starts or stops the flow of electricity to something (such as a lamp or a machine) when it is pressed or moved up and down

: a sudden change from one thing to another

: a device for moving the rails of a track so that a train may be turned from one track to another

Full Definition of SWITCH

:  a slender flexible whip, rod, or twig <a riding switch>
:  an act of switching: as
a :  a blow with a switch
b :  a shift from one to another
c :  a change from the usual <that outfit is a switch>
:  a tuft of long hairs at the end of the tail of an animal (as a cow) — see cow illustration
:  a device made usually of two movable rails and necessary connections and designed to turn a locomotive or train from one track to another
:  a device for making, breaking, or changing the connections in an electrical circuit
:  a heavy strand of hair used in addition to a person's own hair for some coiffures

Examples of SWITCH

  1. She flicked a switch and turned the lamp on.
  2. He threw the switch to stop the machine.

Origin of SWITCH

perhaps from Middle Dutch swijch twig
First Known Use: 1592



: to make a change from one thing to another : to start doing or using something that is different

: to make a change from one thing to another by turning or pushing a button or moving a switch, lever, etc.

: to change or replace (something) with another thing

Full Definition of SWITCH

transitive verb
:  to strike or beat with or as if with a switch
:  whisk, lash <a cat switching its tail>
a (1) :  to turn from one railroad track to another :  shunt (2) :  to move (cars) to different positions on the same track within terminal areas
b :  to make a shift in or exchange of <switch seats>
a :  to shift to another electrical circuit by means of a switch
b (1) :  to operate an electrical switch so as to turn (as a device) on or off —usually used with on or off
(2) :  to change to or from an active state —usually used with on or off <switched on the gene>
intransitive verb
:  to lash from side to side
:  to make a shift or exchange
switch·able \ˈswi-chə-bəl\ adjective
switch·er noun

Examples of SWITCH

  1. I switched to a new doctor.
  2. He kept switching back and forth between topics.
  3. She switched back to her original insurance company.
  4. We switched over to a different telephone service.
  5. Why did you switch jobs?

First Known Use of SWITCH

circa 1611


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