switch

noun
\ ˈswich How to pronounce switch (audio) \
plural switches

Definition of switch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a slender flexible whip, rod, or twig a riding switch
2 : an act of switching: such 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
3 : a tuft of long hairs at the end of the tail of an animal (such as a cow) — see cow illustration
4 : a device made usually of two movable rails and necessary connections and designed to turn a locomotive or train from one track to another
5a : a device for making, breaking, or changing the connections in an electrical circuit
b : a software icon that is used to select between one of usually two available states Tap Edit and then toggle the switch next to each supported service to the appropriate setting.— Jason Cipriani Other features … include: … A software switch that lets you change the side button's function to be either volume mute or orientation lock.— Matt Rosoff
6 : a heavy strand of hair used in addition to a person's own hair for some coiffures

switch

verb
switched; switching; switches

Definition of switch (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to strike or beat with or as if with a switch
2 : whisk, lash a cat switching its tail
3a(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
4a : to shift to another electrical circuit by means of a switch
b(1) : to operate an electrical switch so as to turn (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

1 : to lash from side to side
2 : to make a shift or exchange

Other Words from switch

Verb

switchable \ ˈswi-​chə-​bəl How to pronounce switch (audio) \ adjective
switcher noun

Synonyms for switch

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of switch in a Sentence

Noun She flicked a switch and turned the lamp on. He threw the switch to stop the machine. Verb I switched to a new doctor. He kept switching back and forth between topics. She switched back to her original insurance company. We switched over to a different telephone service. Why did you switch jobs? See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To do this, click the search icon (magnifying glass on the bottom toolbar) and type ‘clipboard settings’ and flip the switch to ‘On’. Ken Colburn, The Arizona Republic, 18 July 2022 The switch to EVs would be monumental on its own for GM, a company that has made a living largely on the internal combustion engine for more than 113 years. Tom Krisher, BostonGlobe.com, 18 July 2022 The headstone switch may be the result of disagreements within the Sinatra family. Michael Goldstein, Forbes, 15 July 2022 The switch in the screenplay by Carroll Cartwright, Anthony Fabian, Olivia Hetreed and Keith Thompson is that Mrs. Harris herself becomes the fairy godmother. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 July 2022 The switch has been a topic of conversation during Wimbledon, because the All England Club barred athletes who represent Russia or Belarus from entering the tournament due to the war in Ukraine. Howard Fendrich, Chicago Tribune, 9 July 2022 The switch has been a topic of conversation during Wimbledon, because the All England Club barred athletes who represent Russia or Belarus from entering the tournament due to the war in Ukraine. Howard Fendrich, Hartford Courant, 9 July 2022 Drizzy’s decision to flip the switch sonically will ultimately require an adjustment period for his ardent followers. Billboard Staff, Billboard, 28 June 2022 Still a long-sleeve crimson jersey, but now a switch to white pants with a single stripe down the leg. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, 13 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That seems like a good incentive for someone looking for a luxury crossover to switch to an EV, assuming the GLB was already on the shopping list. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 25 July 2022 And the Orioles could grow stronger thanks to their top farm system, which moved 2019 No. 1 draft pick Adley Rutschman — a switch-hitting catcher — to the big-league roster this season. Lance Pugmire, USA TODAY, 22 July 2022 The return of switch-hitting catcher Yasmani Grandal could provide a lift for the White Sox, who are looking for their third consecutive playoff appearance. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 21 July 2022 Lyft, meanwhile, offers no financial incentives for drivers to switch to EVs. Jackie Davalos, Fortune, 28 June 2022 Those dates without games will allow the Tigers to switch to a four-man rotation until the beginning of July. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 18 June 2022 Banned from using European airspace, Aeroflot is now focusing on domestic routes and working to switch to Russian planes — a process that will take years. New York Times, 10 June 2022 Research shows that beetles are attracted from a considerable distance to areas near the traps but then switch to food plants, which can result in heavier plant damage near traps. Tim Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 16 July 2022 And anxiety that President Vladimir V. Putin may not switch the gas back on — as a display of brinkmanship with countries that oppose Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — is particularly sharp. New York Times, 15 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'switch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of switch

Noun

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1611, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for switch

Noun

perhaps from Middle Dutch swijch twig

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Dictionary Entries Near switch

Swiss tea

switch

switch angle

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Statistics for switch

Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Switch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/switch. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for switch

switch

noun
\ ˈswich How to pronounce switch (audio) \

Kids Definition of switch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a device for making, breaking, or changing the connections in an electrical circuit
2 : a change from one thing to another a switch in plans
3 : a narrow flexible whip, rod, or twig
4 : an act of switching
5 : a device for adjusting the rails of a track so that a train or streetcar may be turned from one track to another

switch

verb
switched; switching

Kids Definition of switch (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to turn, shift, or change by operating a device that makes, breaks, or changes the connections in an electrical circuit Remember to switch off the light.
2 : to move quickly from side to side The cow was switching its tail.
3 : to make a shift or change He switched to a new barber.
4 : to strike with or as if with a whip, rod, or twig

More from Merriam-Webster on switch

Nglish: Translation of switch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of switch for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about switch

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