switchback

noun
switch·​back | \ ˈswich-ˌbak How to pronounce switchback (audio) \

Definition of switchback

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a zigzag road, trail, or section of railroad tracks for climbing a steep hill

switchback

verb
switchbacked; switchbacking; switchbacks

Definition of switchback (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to follow a zigzag course especially for ascent or descent a trail that switchbacks

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Other Words from switchback

Noun

switchback adjective

Examples of switchback in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Farther up, on the East Observatory Trail, a jazzy drum solo kicks in, punctuating each switchback with a thump-ding-and-wire-brush swoosh, heightening anticipation around every corner. Los Angeles Times, "How to help keep monarchs from going extinct," 25 Feb. 2021 Disney is thought to have invented the switchback queue (the kind that snakes back and forth) during the 1964–65 World Fair in New York. Elissaveta M. Brandon, The Atlantic, "The Pandemic Could End Waiting in Line," 28 Oct. 2020 Then more-sophisticated tools arrived, including the secret switchback—a themed queue that feels linear but is, in fact, a twist-and-turn maze filled with atmosphere and mystery. Elissaveta M. Brandon, The Atlantic, "The Pandemic Could End Waiting in Line," 28 Oct. 2020 The narrow switchback trail at times demanded steep steps too long for Lori’s legs to reach easily. Derek Catron, USA TODAY, "Finding social distance measured in miles in Utah's 'Mighty 5' national parks," 17 Aug. 2020 On those stretches, the ditches are replaced by tight metal guardrails with reflective yellow arrows that point drivers around the hairpin turns, some nearly one hundred and eighty degrees — a true switchback. Longreads, "In Pocahontas County, Deep Divisions and a Gruesome Discovery," 10 Aug. 2020 On those stretches, the ditches are replaced by tight metal guardrails with reflective yellow arrows that point drivers around the hairpin turns, some nearly one hundred and eighty degrees — a true switchback. Longreads, "In Pocahontas County, Deep Divisions and a Gruesome Discovery," 10 Aug. 2020 Front-end loaders were used over the weekend to build berms of snow to bar access to the parking area at the top of the pass and at a pullout called the Tunnel Turn, located at a hairpin switchback about a mile and a half from the Loveland Ski Area. John Meyer, The Know, "CDOT closes two Loveland Pass pullouts due to backcountry skiers parking illegally," 21 Apr. 2020 The Beagle followed a switchback course, surveying and resurveying the complex archipelago of the coastline. National Geographic, "Darwin's first—and only—trip around the world began a scientific revolution," 11 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Montoya, who lives along a dirt switchback 15 miles from here in Newcomb, N.M., began focusing on contact tracing in April. Los Angeles Times, "They know the sick. On Navajo Nation, contact tracers work to control coronavirus on vast lands," 7 Dec. 2020 Scientists have observed bursts of energetic particles never seen before on such a small scale, as well as switchback-like reversals in the out-flowing solar magnetic field that seem to whip up the solar wind. Fox News, "NASA’s Parker Solar Probe set for close Venus flyby," 11 July 2020 Scientists have observed bursts of energetic particles never seen before on such a small scale, as well as switchback-like reversals in the out-flowing solar magnetic field that seem to whip up the solar wind. Fox News, "NASA’s Parker Solar Probe set for close Venus flyby," 11 July 2020 Scientists have observed bursts of energetic particles never seen before on such a small scale, as well as switchback-like reversals in the out-flowing solar magnetic field that seem to whip up the solar wind. Fox News, "NASA’s Parker Solar Probe set for close Venus flyby," 11 July 2020 Scientists have observed bursts of energetic particles never seen before on such a small scale, as well as switchback-like reversals in the out-flowing solar magnetic field that seem to whip up the solar wind. Fox News, "NASA’s Parker Solar Probe set for close Venus flyby," 11 July 2020 Scientists have observed bursts of energetic particles never seen before on such a small scale, as well as switchback-like reversals in the out-flowing solar magnetic field that seem to whip up the solar wind. Fox News, "NASA’s Parker Solar Probe set for close Venus flyby," 11 July 2020 Scientists have observed bursts of energetic particles never seen before on such a small scale, as well as switchback-like reversals in the out-flowing solar magnetic field that seem to whip up the solar wind. Fox News, "NASA’s Parker Solar Probe set for close Venus flyby," 11 July 2020 Scientists have observed bursts of energetic particles never seen before on such a small scale, as well as switchback-like reversals in the out-flowing solar magnetic field that seem to whip up the solar wind. Fox News, "NASA’s Parker Solar Probe set for close Venus flyby," 11 July 2020

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

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First Known Use of switchback

Noun

1863, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1903, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for switchback

Time Traveler

The first known use of switchback was in 1863

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Statistics for switchback

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Switchback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/switchback. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for switchback

switchback

noun

English Language Learners Definition of switchback

: a road, trail, or section of railroad tracks that has many sharp turns for climbing a steep hill

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for switchback

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