switch·​blade | \ˈswich-ˌblād \

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

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 The brother-in-law later testified that Ream pulled a switchblade on the girl and told the brother-in-law to use duct tape to blindfold the girl before raping her. Elisha Anderson, Detroit Free Press, "Suspected serial killer wants an apology from Warren police," 21 May 2018 Trump’s previous years of education had been turbulent: His father had abruptly sent him to a military boarding school in eighth grade, The Post wrote, after discovering the boy had been playing with switchblades to imitate a gang member. Avi Selk, Washington Post, "It’s the 50th anniversary of the day Trump left college and (briefly) faced the draft," 20 May 2018 Open container, Pearl Road: During an April 24 traffic stop, police discovered a driver had a switchblade-style knife, marijuana paraphernalia and an open bottle of alcohol. John Benson, cleveland.com, "Neighbor dispute leads to 78-year-old woman cited for assault: Parma Heights Police Blotter," 3 May 2018 The fish had a switchblade like weapon on his face, called a lachrymal saber, so named because of its placement below the eye (lachrymal means concerned with tears). Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "This Fish Has a Switchblade on Its Face," 14 Apr. 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

6 Dec 2018

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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

: 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

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