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

The 78-minute opera toggles between the distress of losing and the serenity of finding, as the two women, who meet in a care facility, help each other by sinking into a new, shared fantasy of identity. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "Opera Philadelphia’s Festival O18 Review: Arias and Alzheimer’s," 28 Sep. 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 The toggle is located in the FaceTime panel in the Settings app. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Apple releases iOS 12.1.1, macOS Mojave 10.14.2, and tvOS 12.1.1," 5 Dec. 2018 Snap off the plastic straps and the toggle will be securely locked to the wall. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Hang a TV," 23 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The screen brightness toggle - one of the Action Center buttons—has been changed from a series of buttons toggling through various brightness levels, and replaced with a slider. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Windows 10 blocks pesky notifications with improved Focus Assist feature in Build 18277," 7 Nov. 2018 But for the past week, the story’s implications have led the national mood to toggle between anger and sadness, optimism and despair. Andrea Zarate, New York Times, "Paolo Guerrero’s Fight to Reach World Cup Spurs Protests in Peru," 21 May 2018 Enterprise users will be able to toggle the camera and mic off and on, Microsoft said. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Windows 10 blocks pesky notifications with improved Focus Assist feature in Build 18277," 7 Nov. 2018 Locking customers into a payment plan would theoretically keep them from toggling between Uber, Lyft, Juno, or Via to see who has the best deal. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Uber and Lyft unveiled new subscription plans. But are they really worth the money?," 31 Oct. 2018 What a Space Kindle Could Do Imagine a CubeSat with an E Ink panel that can toggle its pixels between black and white. Bobak Ferdowsi, Popular Mechanics, "Why I Want To Put a Kindle in Space," 9 Aug. 2018 Mobile apps often get more precise location information through GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals, though customers can toggle the sharing of some of that information on their smartphones. Sarah Krouse, WSJ, "T-Mobile, AT&T Pledge to Stop Location Sharing by End of March," 11 Jan. 2019 When this mode is toggled, players fight over their HP bars, like in more standard brawlers, as opposed to launching each other off the stage. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Smash Bros. Ultimate adds fan faves Simon Belmont, King K Rool, tons more," 8 Aug. 2018 Her days were spent toggling between school and work and caring for him in the hospital. Ginia Bellafante, New York Times, "Convergence in the Tale of Two Cities," 1 June 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

3 May 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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something valued as if it were money

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