switch

1 of 2

noun

plural switches
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
5
a
: 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

2 of 2

verb

switched; switching; switches

transitive verb

1
: to strike or beat with or as if with a switch
2
: whisk, lash
a cat switching its tail
3
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
4
a
: 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
switchable adjective
switcher noun

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
Gore’s switch has been years in the making, Brigden said, given what researchers have known about the environmental damage associated with PFAS. Christine Condon, Baltimore Sun, 15 Feb. 2024 There’s Windows and macOS compatibility and excellent hot-swappable switches with LED backlights. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 If these switches in the factory are more energy efficient, that could lead to a reduction of heat produced by these facilities. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 13 Feb. 2024 It’s also got a dimmable touch switch to choose the brightness. Claire Rutter, Rolling Stone, 13 Feb. 2024 That switch in the order of events related to liability is comparable to the difference between opt-in and opt-out in privacy. Jaron Lanier, WIRED, 13 Feb. 2024 Before the vote switch, the vote was tied at 215-215, defeating the impeachment resolution. Caitlin Yilek, CBS News, 9 Feb. 2024 The barrel includes the aforementioned lock switch, as well as discrete control rings to set the zoom and manual focus, but nothing else. PCMAG, 6 Feb. 2024 The only switch most sports fans were talking about was the announcement that seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton would be leaving Mercedes at the end of the this season to join Ferrari in 2025, replacing Carlos Sainz at the Italian outfit. Sam Joseph, CNN, 2 Feb. 2024
Verb
As have many ways to serve a martini: coupes, Nick and Nora and even stemless glasses are seamless ways to switch up a martini’s presentation. Jillian Dara, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 The surname switch from Mountbatten-Windsor to Sussex stems back to the coronation of King Charles. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 16 Feb. 2024 High interest rates have made affordability a struggle for some to switch from gas to electric. Anthony De Leon, Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2024 The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provides thousands of dollars for a household to switch to a heat pump, in the form of tax credits or rebates. Matt Simon, WIRED, 14 Feb. 2024 This addresses one of the main roadblocks to switching to DuckDuckGo’s browser from one that uses your data for its own ends like Chrome. Wes Davis, The Verge, 14 Feb. 2024 Since then, Ford, General Motors, and Volkswagen Group, which also owns Audi, Porsche, and Lamborghini, have switched to the standard. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 14 Feb. 2024 That allowed Woods to switch his golf equipment to TaylorMade, ultimately the start to what led to this new brand. Doug Ferguson, Quartz, 13 Feb. 2024 During this time, the children all switched to virtual schooling. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'switch.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

perhaps from Middle Dutch swijch twig

First Known Use

Noun

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1611, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of switch was in 1597

Dictionary Entries Near switch

Cite this Entry

“Switch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/switch. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

switch

1 of 2 noun
1
: a slender flexible whip, rod, or twig
2
: an act or an instance of switching
3
: a bunch of long hairs at the end of the tail of an animal (as a cow)
4
: a device made usually of two movable rails and necessary connections and designed to turn a train or streetcar from one track to another
5
: a device for making, breaking, or changing the connections in an electrical circuit

switch

2 of 2 verb
1
: to strike or whip with or as if with a switch
2
: to lash from side to side
3
: to turn, shift, or change by or as if by operating a switch
switch off the light
switched to a different channel
4
: to change one for another : exchange
switch seats
switcher noun

More from Merriam-Webster on switch

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