switch·​blade | \ ˈswich-ˌblād How to pronounce switchblade (audio) \

Definition of switchblade

: a pocketknife having the blade spring-operated so that pressure on a release catch causes it to fly open

called also switchblade knife

Examples of switchblade in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hogan compared the past few weeks of protests to those that broke out in Baltimore in 2015 after the murder of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died in police custody after he was arrested for allegedly carrying a switchblade. Madeleine Carlisle, Time, "Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan Says Defunding Police Departments Is a 'Terrible Idea'," 11 June 2020 The man hesitated, and Domenech pulled out switchblade. Evan Macdonald, cleveland, "Cleveland robber steals Nintendo Switch after telling owner he could be shot or stabbed, records say," 14 Feb. 2020 Trapped in a burning shower room with an alien who’s got limbs like switchblades, that’s where. Dan Thurot, Ars Technica, "Nemesis brings alien impregnation horror to your tabletop—and it works," 18 Jan. 2020 The latter was tied to the fact that the trespasser had a heavy, metallic, switchblade knife in his pocket. John Benson, cleveland, "Trespasser swings bat at homeowner, arrested with switchblade knife: Brooklyn Police Blotter," 15 Jan. 2020 Bolich was stabbed four times and a switchblade was found near his body, according to the authorities. Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post, "Man charged in fatal stabbing of worker on Frederick Douglass Bridge to undergo mental evaluation," 31 Oct. 2019 In more recent decades, nurseries have grafted healthy Meyer cuttings onto the trunks of hardier species which bear ugly, inedible fruit but can protect themselves with tough thorns — the switchblades of the plant kingdom. Grace Hwang Lynch, SFChronicle.com, "Growing a lemon tree in the Valley of the Heart’s Delight," 31 Oct. 2019 During the argument, the woman stabbed him with a switchblade-style knife. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Postmates driver stabbed by ex-girlfriend during delivery in Hoover, police say," 13 Sep. 2019 Bans on switchblade knives (folding knives that automatically open when a spring is released) were struck down in Wisconsin but upheld in New Mexico. David B. Kopel, National Review, "Heller’s Precarious Situation," 12 Sep. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of switchblade

1932, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about switchblade

Time Traveler for switchblade

Time Traveler

The first known use of switchblade was in 1932

See more words from the same year

Statistics for switchblade

Cite this Entry

“Switchblade.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/switchblade. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for switchblade


How to pronounce switchblade (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of switchblade

chiefly US : a knife that has a blade inside the handle which springs out when a button is pressed

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on switchblade

What made you want to look up switchblade? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!