1 of 2


tog·​gle ˈtä-gəl How to pronounce toggle (audio)
: a piece or device for holding or securing: such as
: a pin inserted in a nautical knot to make it more secure or easier to slip
: a crosspiece attached to the end of or to a loop in something (such as a chain, rope, line, strap, or belt) usually to prevent slipping, to serve in twisting or tightening, or to hold something attached
: a device consisting of two bars jointed together end to end but not in line so that when a force is applied to the joint tending to straighten it pressure will be exerted on the parts adjacent or fixed to the outer ends of the bars
also : a device with a joint using a toggle
computers : a setting that can be switched between two different options by performing a single action (such as selecting a menu option or pressing a key)


2 of 2


toggled; toggling ˈtä-g(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce toggle (audio) ; toggles

transitive verb

: to fasten with or as if with a toggle
: to furnish with a toggle
: to switch between two different options for (something, such as a computer setting) usually by pressing a single button or a simple key combination
toggle the sound on a computer off and on

intransitive verb

: to switch between usually two different options, states, or activities : alternate, cycle
Prevent bad habits by intervening when kids toggle between texting and studying …Phyllis Fagell
The brain continues to toggle back and forth between non-REM and REM sleep throughout the night, once every hour and a half.Alice Park et al.
specifically : to change between usually two options of an electronic device by means of a simple hardware or software control (such as a button, a switch, or a combination of keys)
You also get … an icon that lets you toggle between keyboard and gamepad controls. Ian Paul
Users can toggle between these three views at any time, offering a more customizable way to consume the content on the site. Arielle Pardes
… a prompt asks for permission to access the front-facing camera. As with any app, this permission can be toggled on or off … Joe Rossignol
Using the steering wheel, you can toggle through various layouts including navigation, trip computer, audio, driver's assistance features, and a tachometer. Benjamin Zhang

Examples of toggle in a Sentence

Noun Instead of buttons, the jacket has toggles.
Recent Examples on the Web
Missing here are an on-lens focus toggle and a dedicated function button. PCMAG, 28 Mar. 2024 The catch is that this toggle impacts the use of your personal data only in Comcast’s advertising, marketing, and recommendations systems. Reece Rogers, WIRED, 19 Jan. 2024 A little effort and a couple of toggles can save you time and peace of mind. Danielle Abril, Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2023 There’s a toggle in the network settings to set your default connection and switch between the two. Simon Hill Julian Chokkattu, WIRED, 27 Feb. 2024 With this toggle turned on, your desktop wallpaper looks like a still image. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 26 Sep. 2023 These Sorel snow boots come in toddler, little kid, and big kid sizes, and an adjustable ankle strap and toggle cinch keep snow and wetness out. Karthika Gupta, Parents, 11 Jan. 2024 Engaging this mode requires a simple long press of the second button, activating a sequence that intelligently toggles temperatures between warm and cool settings. Molly Peck, USA TODAY, 12 Jan. 2024 Chinn’s film toggles between the anguish that envelopes mother and daughter and the developments of a routine coming-of-age story. Randy Myers, The Mercury News, 7 Feb. 2024
Callahan toggles back and forth between the language of hearing and the language of vision, using them seemingly interchangeably. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 3 Apr. 2024 Memristors and similar devices are essentially switches that can remember which electric state they were toggled to after their power is turned off. IEEE Spectrum, 29 Mar. 2024 Here, an upcoming 2024 release, in which the narration toggles wildly between the past and the future. Rachel Dickinson, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Mar. 2024 Users will also now have the ability to toggle read receipts on or off, pin individual or group chats to the top of their inboxes, and respond with their choice of stickers, GIFs, videos, photos, and voice messages. Amrita Khalid, The Verge, 4 Mar. 2024 This was true of her performance as well, which brought the perfection and order of musical theater to the pop-punk and piano balladry that her songs toggle between. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, 24 Feb. 2024 In some cases, the customer may be able to toggle off tracking options. Lauren Goode, WIRED, 6 Mar. 2024 Next to the dot-matrix screen is a button that controls the display, toggling different functions at a press. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Mainstream adventure films often toggle between expository and action sequences with wearyingly predictability; here, everything flows. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 29 Feb. 2024

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

Word History



origin unknown

First Known Use


circa 1775, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1836, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of toggle was circa 1775

Dictionary Entries Near toggle

Cite this Entry

“Toggle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
tog·​gle ˈtäg-əl How to pronounce toggle (audio)
: a crosspiece attached to the end of or to a loop in a rope, chain, or belt to prevent slipping or to serve as a fastening or as a grip for tightening
used a stick as a toggle in tightening a rope


2 of 2 verb
: to fasten with or as if with a toggle
: to furnish with a toggle
: to switch between two options especially of an electronic device usually by pressing a single button or a simple key combination
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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