• Switch


    • enPR: swĭch, IPA: /swɪtʃ/
    • Rhymes: -ɪtʃ


    Perhaps from Middle Dutch swijch twig.

    First known use: c.1592



    (plural switches)
    1. A device to turn electric current on and off or direct its flow.
    2. A change.
      • 2011, January 19, Jonathan Stevenson, Leeds 1 - 3 Arsenal, Wenger sent on Cesc Fabregas and Van Persie to try to finish Leeds off and with 14 minutes left the switch paid off as the Spaniard sent Bendtner away down the right and his wonderful curling cross was headed in by Van Persie at the far post.
    3. (rail transport, US) A movable section of railroad track which allows the train to be directed down one of two destination tracks; point.
    4. A slender woody plant stem used as a whip; a thin, flexible rod.
      • AddisonMauritania, on the fifth medal, leads a horse with something like a thread; in her other hand she holds a switch.
    5. (computer science) A command line notation allowing specification of optional behavior.Use the /b switch to specify black-and-white printing.
    6. (computing, programming) A programming construct that takes different actions depending on the value of an expression.
      • 2004, "Curt", Can I use IF statements, and still use switches? (on newsgroup microsoft.public.word.mailmerge.fields)
    7. (computing, networking) A networking device connecting multiple wires, allowing them to communicate simultaneously, when possible. Compare to the less efficient hub device that solely duplicates network packets to each wire.
    8. (telecommunication) A system of specialized relays, computer hardware, or other equipment which allows the interconnection of a calling party's telephone line with any called party's line.
    9. (BDSM) One who is willing to take either a sadistic or a masochistic role.
      • 2012, Terri-Jean Bedford, Bondage Bungalow Fantasies (page 99)Ideally, if one of your ladies happens to be a switch (or would be willing to switch for this scene), I would love to be able to inflict a little "revenge tickling" as well, as part of a scenario.
    10. A separate mass or tress of hair, or of some substance (such as jute) made to resemble hair, formerly worn on the head by women.


    Full definition of switch


    1. (transitive) To exchange.
      • 2013-06-01, Ideas coming down the track, A “moving platform” scheme...is more technologically ambitious than maglev trains even though it relies on conventional rails. Local trains would use side-by-side rails to roll alongside intercity trains and allow passengers to switch trains by stepping through docking bays.
    2. I want to switch this red dress for a green one.
    3. (transitive) To change (something) to the specified state using a switch.
      Switch the light on.
    4. (transitive) To whip or hit with a switch.
      • 1899, Joseph Conrad, ,They were looking on the ground, absorbed in thought. The manager was switching his leg with a slender twig: his sagacious relative lifted his head.
    5. (intransitive) To change places, tasks, etc.
      I want to switch to a different seat.
    6. (slang, intransitive) To get angry suddenly; to quickly or unreasonably become enraged.
    7. To swing or whisk.to switch a cane
    8. To trim.to switch a hedge
    9. To turn from one railway track to another; to transfer by a switch; generally with off, from, etc.to switch off a train; to switch a car from one track to another
    10. (ecclesiastical) To shift to another circuit.



    1. (snowboarding) riding with their opposite foot forward from their natural position. BBC Sport, "Sochi 2014: A jargon-busting guide to the halfpipe", 11 February 2014

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