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 Lulu visited Anna-Louise at the switchboard every now and then. Colson Whitehead, The New Yorker, 19 July 2021 But over the past century, researchers have turned the insect — known to science as Drosophila melanogaster — into a sort of genetic switchboard. Star Tribune, 25 Dec. 2020 This is quite similar to a lighting designer programming the different changes in the stage lights, known to theater makers as cues, to a switchboard for the light board operator to use during the play. Hannah Herrera Greenspan, chicagotribune.com, 12 May 2021 In my experience, customers have now come to expect a higher quality of service and are unwilling to accept being passed around an organization’s telephone switchboard indefinitely. Inken Kuhlmann-rhinow, Forbes, 10 Mar. 2021 The Silfi headquarters is an archive as well as a working office, with a display of bulbs through the ages and the old switchboard that used to be housed in Palazzo Vecchio to set off the lights of Florence in a sort of domino effect. Amy Kellogg, Fox News, 7 Apr. 2021 Calls about the party lighted up the switchboard at the San Luis Obispo Police Department shortly after 7 a.m., Sgt. Los Angeles Times, 15 Mar. 2021 Early on in the blockade, the government had cut all phone lines to the switchboard, isolating the Mille Collines from the outside world. New York Times, 2 Mar. 2021 The Channel 9 switchboard was flooded with calls both positive and negative. Tim Kiska, Detroit Free Press, 19 Feb. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of switchboard

1873, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About switchboard

Time Traveler for switchboard

Time Traveler

The first known use of switchboard was in 1873

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near switchboard



switch box

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for switchboard

Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Switchboard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/switchboard. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on switchboard

Nglish: Translation of switchboard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about switchboard


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!