tog·​gle | \ ˈtä-gəl How to pronounce toggle (audio) \

Definition of toggle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a piece or device for holding or securing: such as
a : a pin inserted in a nautical knot to make it more secure or easier to slip
b : 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
2 : 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
3 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)


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

Definition of toggle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to fasten with or as if with a toggle
2 : to furnish with a toggle
3 : 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


Instead of buttons, the jacket has toggles.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

One of which could be the power button and the other is likely a volume toggle. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Google leaked the Pixel 4 early, here's what we know," 13 June 2019 More complex ones could be spreadsheets, toggle lists, or databases. Khe Hy, Quartz at Work, "Five “creator” apps that have captured Silicon Valley’s attention," 19 June 2019 Twitter’s new toggle seeks to assuage both types of usage. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Twitter is making it easier to toggle between latest and top tweets," 1 Nov. 2018 One side of the device also includes a new webcam privacy switch, which is basically a toggle that quickly disables the front-facing webcam. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "HP updates Spectre x360 2-in-1s with webcam privacy switch, more battery life," 23 Oct. 2018 Python boots, silver open-shirts, leather chap-like shorts and hats with chin toggles seemed to lead the eye to the U.S. Midwest. Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, "Starry Saint Laurent show in Paris sees models walk on water," 25 Sep. 2018 But the policies could point to new privacy toggles, or ways to prevent companies from processing and sharing your personal data. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "Europe's New Data Protections Will Affect You Too. Here's How.," 24 May 2018 There’s a toggle on top for switching between color and black-and-white modes. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "The best instant camera for the beach," 10 Aug. 2018 One communicates with the bike through the bright, legible 5-inch TFT liquid crystal display (standard with the S-trim level) and a toggle selector on the left-hand grip. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S: The Bike for a Bucket-List Ride," 21 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Click the map layers icon in the top right corner of the map to change map backgrounds and to toggle active and contained fires. Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post, "Tobin Fire in Costilla County down to 10 acres; not yet contained," 10 July 2019 But the president, as ever, is erratic, toggling between fiery threats and offers of dialogue. The Economist, "Who is blowing up ships in the Gulf?," 13 June 2019 Recognizing this, Vivaldi has a keyboard shortcut available to toggle between the two. Scott Gilbertson, Ars Technica, "Vivaldi 2.0 review: The modern Web browser does not have to be so bland," 19 Oct. 2018 Ryan Rouse, a vice president at Tyson Foods Inc., used to toggle between begrudgingly drinking the office Folgers and making trips to outside cafes. Julie Jargon, WSJ, "11 Scoops or 12? Coffee Wars Come to the Office," 9 Oct. 2018 Happ has toggled between his tailing four-seam fastball and his sinking two-seamer, while mixing in a slider and changeup. James Wagner, New York Times, "Yankees’ J.A. Happ Wrestles With Being a Fly-Ball Pitcher in a Home-Run Era," 5 June 2019 This setting can be toggled in the options for the Steam version of the game, which does not seem to have an official ESRB rating (but which does still feature the edits to the table art). Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Zen Studios alters classic pinball art to protect family-friendly rating [Updated]," 12 Oct. 2018 Via the control panel mounted on the handlebars, the rider can toggle between five levels of electric assist: eco (the least amount), tour, sport, boost, and turbo. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "E-Biking My Way Through New York's Five Boro Bike Tour," 9 May 2019 Certain outside events trigger the cameras automatically, like an officer toggling a siren or another body camera being activated nearby, Johnson said. Alex Nitkin,, "Police body cameras a 'guardian angel': Evanston officer," 8 May 2018

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


circa 1775, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1836, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for toggle


origin unknown

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Statistics for toggle

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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The first known use of toggle was circa 1775

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English Language Learners Definition of toggle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small piece of wood, plastic, metal, etc., that is pushed through a loop or hole to fasten one part of something to another part
computers : a setting that can be switched between two different options by pressing a single key, making a single choice from a menu, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of toggle (Entry 2 of 2)

computers : to switch between two options by pressing a single key, making a single choice from a menu, etc.

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More from Merriam-Webster on toggle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with toggle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for toggle

Nglish: Translation of toggle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of toggle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on toggle

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characterized by aphorism

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