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

There were switchblades and scissors on top of all the windowsills. Crystal Ponti, Harper's BAZAAR, "What It's Actually Like To Be Stalked by Joe," 12 Feb. 2019 That should invite challenges to New York’s bans on other weapons, including switchblades, gravity knives, brass knuckles and slingshots. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Right to Bear Nunchucks," 23 Dec. 2018 These stunning miniatures are like bonsai trees pruned with a switchblade. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: A Year in the Life of a Short Story," 28 Dec. 2018 Fazeli fled the scene, but was arrested a short time later on charges of felony assault, criminal threats, brandishing a weapon and possession of a switchblade. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "California GOP House candidate used campaign sign to protect himself from knife attacker, investigator says," 11 Sep. 2018 Guy goes after him with a switchblade after saying horrible things about Republicans. Fox News, "Reps. Jordan, Meadows react to Strzok-Page texts about leaks," 12 Sep. 2018 Depression sounded like a blues woman who kept switchblades in her garters, flasks in her brassiere and whiskey on her tongue (or gin, depending on the day). Maiysha Kai, The Root, "Just an Ordinary Pain: Living With Persistent Depressive Disorder," 16 May 2018 Stonefish not only protect themselves with spikes, camouflage, and venom, but some species even pack switchblades on their faces. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "This Fish Has a Switchblade on Its Face," 14 Apr. 2018 One of my father’s notable achievements while growing up in the ’50s was getting thrown out of Catholic school for carrying a switchblade. Longreads, "The Cold War and its Fallout," 16 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of switchblade

1932, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

1 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for switchblade

The first known use of switchblade was in 1932

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More Definitions for switchblade



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on switchblade

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with switchblade

Spanish Central: Translation of switchblade

Nglish: Translation of switchblade for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of switchblade for Arabic Speakers

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).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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