switch·​board | \ ˈswich-ˌbȯrd How to pronounce switchboard (audio) \

Definition of switchboard

: an apparatus (as in a telephone exchange) consisting of a panel on which are mounted electric switches so arranged that a number of circuits may be connected, combined, and controlled

Examples of switchboard in a Sentence

She used to work as a switchboard operator.

Recent Examples on the Web

In addition, early telephone users would call into operators, who would use a switchboard to connect callers. Catherine Anderson, Scientific American, "5 of the Best-Designed Products Ever—and What Made Them Great," 10 Mar. 2017 The News switchboard was a Christmas tree of lights, and another operator had to be called to help handle the calls. Dallas News, "D-Day as Dallas lived it," 6 June 2019 The police station, sheriff's office and fire department as well as the switchboard at The News were swamped with telephone calls. Dallas News, "D-Day as Dallas lived it," 6 June 2019 Other lawmakers go through the White House switchboard. Seung-min Kim, The Seattle Times, "‘He just picks up’: Trump and the lawmakers he loves to talk to on the phone," 20 Feb. 2019 For privacy, the Cameroonian delegation installs its own internet connection and phone switchboard. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "Can’t Find Cameroon’s President? Try Geneva’s Intercontinental Hotel," 4 Nov. 2018 Daily check-ins instead of an impersonal switchboard. Crystal-clear pricing with no hidden fees. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "At 35, I Went to a Millennial Egg-Freezing Clinic—and Now I’m Rethinking My Future," 12 Nov. 2018 Headphones Long before Spotify and Bluetooth earbuds, switchboard operators working the World Wars and military members used some of the first headphone prototypes. Cassie Shortsleeve, Popular Mechanics, "How 5 Everyday Products Have Changed Through the Ages," 10 Dec. 2018 One protestors decided to take the direct action a step beyond the protest by offering up a phone number for the Capitol Hill switchboard on a sign. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "The Most Powerful Signs From the #BelieveSurvivors Walkout and Kavanaugh Protests," 24 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'switchboard.' 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 switchboard

1873, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for switchboard

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for switchboard

The first known use of switchboard was in 1873

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More Definitions for switchboard



English Language Learners Definition of switchboard

: a system used to connect telephone calls with many separate phone lines in a building


switch·​board | \ ˈswich-ˌbȯrd How to pronounce switchboard (audio) \

Kids Definition of switchboard

: a panel for controlling the operation of a number of electric circuits

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More from Merriam-Webster on switchboard

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with switchboard

Spanish Central: Translation of switchboard

Nglish: Translation of switchboard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about switchboard

Comments on switchboard

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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