switch·​blade ˈswich-ˌblād How to pronounce switchblade (audio)
: 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 He had been convicted in January for a range of offenses including possession of a switchblade knife, being armed with a weapon with an intention to commit an indictable offense, stalking, intimidation, and damaging property, ABC reported. Mark Baker and Rod McGuirk, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Apr. 2024 The glory days when Vivian Gornick and Ellen Willis were dissecting the gender politics of everyday life, Stanley Crouch was turning cultural polemics into a new form of jazz and James Wolcott was sharpening his all-purpose critical switchblade may have been over. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 19 Mar. 2024 During Logan’s preliminary hearing Wednesday, San Diego police Detective Christopher Murray said Logan admitted to committing the homicide with a switchblade. City News Service, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Feb. 2024 The police noticed a souvenir baseball bat from a Yankees game in the back seat and a switchblade knife in the front console and charged him with weapons possession. Trip Gabriel, New York Times, 22 Jan. 2024 The camera panned across a table of offending tops, hovering over Metallica’s Metal Up Your Ass shirt, which showed a switchblade thrusting up from a toilet bowl. Matt Thompson, SPIN, 7 Feb. 2024 Certain knife types, such as switchblades, are barred from some states for both open and concealed carry. Kevin Brouillard, Travel + Leisure, 8 Jan. 2024 Within milliseconds, a hand with a switchblade swoops in and slashes a huge gash in the side of the bag before tearing it apart at its seams. Elizabeth Paton, New York Times, 4 Jan. 2024 Might that change this Christmas on a wave of appreciation for the man who wrote those wonderful words, then laid waste to them with his rusty switchblade of a voice? Mikael Wood, Los Angeles Times, 1 Dec. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1932, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of switchblade was in 1932

Dictionary Entries Near switchblade

Cite this Entry

“Switchblade.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/switchblade. Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


switch·​blade -ˌblād How to pronounce switchblade (audio)
: a pocketknife with a spring-operated blade
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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