switchboard

noun

switch·​board ˈswich-ˌbȯrd How to pronounce switchboard (audio)
: 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 His father was a switchboard installer for the local phone company; his mother oversaw the household. Bruce Weber, New York Times, 13 Apr. 2024 Puzzles, for instance, build on one another, and characters in a switchboard game, which contains more than 100 cues, may appear later in another challenge — perhaps one in which a vintage computer coldly instructs us to decrease the corporation’s headcount. Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, 10 Apr. 2024 Back in those days, when April 1 rolled around, the switchboard operators at the Los Angeles Zoo were inundated with calls. Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 1 Apr. 2024 The suit also describes defects in fire safety, an insufficient electric switchboard, unventilated interior bathrooms and excessive noise in many areas, among other issues. Ethan M Steinberg, Fortune, 9 Mar. 2024 When Smith’s sentence was commuted, the newspaper’s switchboard was flooded with hundreds of calls from readers. Annalisa Quinn, BostonGlobe.com, 5 July 2023 Kirschenbaum had no spouse, siblings or children, and lived a no-frills lifestyle, working as a switchboard operator for the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian aid organization, until her retirement in 2004. Javier C. Hernández, New York Times, 11 Jan. 2024 In addition, the U.K. plans to push its growing wind harvest south toward London via six more offshore HVDC cables, running shore-to-shore like patch cords in an old-time telephone switchboard. IEEE Spectrum, 28 Dec. 2023 Bell Telephone switchboards and the Tribune newsroom were flooded with calls from confused and scared residents who turned angry when told, yes, the Sox had won, and, no, the end of the world wasn’t nigh. Meghan Montemurro, Chicago Tribune, 18 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'switchboard.' 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

1873, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of switchboard was in 1873

Dictionary Entries Near switchboard

Cite this Entry

“Switchboard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/switchboard. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

switchboard

noun
switch·​board -ˌbō(ə)rd How to pronounce switchboard (audio)
-ˌbȯ(ə)rd
: a device (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

More from Merriam-Webster on switchboard

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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