Definitions for Switchswɪtʃ

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word Switch

Random House Webster's College Dictionary


  1. a turning, shifting, or changing.

  2. a device for turning on or off or directing an electric current or for making or breaking a circuit.

    Category: Electricity and Magnetism

  3. a track structure for diverting moving trains or rolling stock from one track to another.

    Category: Railroads

  4. a slender, flexible shoot, rod, etc., used esp. in whipping or disciplining.

  5. the act of whipping or beating with or as if with such an object; a stroke, lash, or whisking movement.

  6. a bunch or tress of long hair or some substitute, worn by women to supplement their own hair.

  7. a tuft of hair at the end of the tail of some animals.

    Category: Zoology

  8. (v.t.)to change or exchange.

  9. to turn, shift, or divert:

    to switch the subject.

  10. to connect, disconnect, or redirect (an electric circuit or the device it serves) by operating a switch (often fol. by off or on).

    Category: Electricity and Magnetism

  11. to whip or beat with a switch or the like.

  12. to move, swing, or whisk (a cane, a fishing line, etc.) with a swift, lashing stroke.

  13. to move or transfer (a train, car, etc.) from one set of tracks to another. to drop or add (cars) or to make up (a train).

    Category: Railroads

  14. (v.i.)to strike with or as if with a switch.

  15. to change, as direction or course; turn or shift:

    to switch to another road.

  16. to exchange or replace something with another.

  17. to move back and forth briskly, as a cat's tail.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  18. to be shifted, turned, etc., by means of a switch.

Origin of switch:

1585–95; orig. uncert.


Princeton's WordNet

  1. switch, electric switch, electrical switch(noun)

    control consisting of a mechanical or electrical or electronic device for making or breaking or changing the connections in a circuit

  2. substitution, permutation, transposition, replacement, switch(noun)

    an event in which one thing is substituted for another

    "the replacement of lost blood by a transfusion of donor blood"

  3. switch(noun)

    hairpiece consisting of a tress of false hair; used by women to give shape to a coiffure

  4. switch(noun)

    railroad track having two movable rails and necessary connections; used to turn a train from one track to another or to store rolling stock

  5. switch(noun)

    a flexible implement used as an instrument of punishment

  6. switch(noun)

    a basketball maneuver; two defensive players shift assignments so that each guards the player usually guarded by the other

  7. switch, switching, shift(verb)

    the act of changing one thing or position for another

    "his switch on abortion cost him the election"

  8. switch over, switch, exchange(verb)

    change over, change around, as to a new order or sequence

  9. trade, swap, swop, switch(verb)

    exchange or give (something) in exchange for

  10. switch, shift, change(verb)

    lay aside, abandon, or leave for another

    "switch to a different brand of beer"; "She switched psychiatrists"; "The car changed lanes"

  11. switch, change over, shift(verb)

    make a shift in or exchange of

    "First Joe led; then we switched"

  12. throw, flip, switch(verb)

    cause to go on or to be engaged or set in operation

    "switch on the light"; "throw the lever"

  13. switch(verb)

    flog with or as if with a flexible rod

  14. interchange, tack, switch, alternate, flip, flip-flop(verb)

    reverse (a direction, attitude, or course of action)

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. switch(verb)ɪtʃ

    to change from one thing to another

    She switched easily between the two languages.; I switched from my old browser to a better one.

  2. switchɪtʃ

    to exchange one thing for another

    He switched clothes to avoid being identified.; The photographer asked me and my brother to switch places.

  3. switchɪtʃ

    to exchange work times with sb else

    Can you switch shifts with me on Saturday?; I can switch with Carrie.

  4. switch(noun)ɪtʃ

    a device that you press or move to turn sth on or off

    a light switch

  5. switchɪtʃ

    to press or move a switch

    He flipped the switch and the room lit up.

  6. switchɪtʃ

    the act of changing from one thing to another

    We recently made the switch from heating with oil to gas.


  1. switch(Noun)

    A device to turn electric current on and off or direct its flow.

  2. switch(Noun)

    A change.

  3. switch(Noun)

    A movable section of railroad track which allows the train to be directed down one of two destination tracks; point.

  4. switch(Noun)

    A slender woody plant stem used as a whip.

  5. switch(Noun)

    A command line notation allowing specification of optional behavior.

    Use the /b switch to specify black-and-white printing.

  6. switch(Noun)

    A programming construct that takes different actions depending on the value of an expression.

  7. switch(Noun)

    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. switch(Noun)

    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. switch(Noun)

    One who is willing to take either a sadistic or a masochistic role.

  10. switch(Verb)

    To exchange.

    I want to switch this red dress for a green one.

  11. switch(Verb)

    To change (something) to the specified state using a switch.

    Switch the light on.

  12. switch(Verb)

    To whip or hit with a switch.

  13. switch(Verb)

    To change places, tasks, etc.

    I want to switch to a different seat.

  14. switch(Verb)

    To get angry suddenly; to quickly or unreasonably become enraged.

  15. switch(Noun)

    A small, flexible twig or rod, especially one used as a whip.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Switch(noun)

    a small, flexible twig or rod

  2. Switch(noun)

    a movable part of a rail; or of opposite rails, for transferring cars from one track to another

  3. Switch(noun)

    a separate mass or trees of hair, or of some substance (at jute) made to resemble hair, worn on the head by women

  4. Switch(noun)

    a mechanical device for shifting an electric current to another circuit

  5. Switch(verb)

    to strike with a switch or small flexible rod; to whip

  6. Switch(verb)

    to swing or whisk; as, to switch a cane

  7. Switch(verb)

    to trim, as, a hedge

  8. Switch(verb)

    to turn from one railway track to another; to transfer by a switch; -- generally with off, from, etc.; as, to switch off a train; to switch a car from one track to another

  9. Switch(verb)

    to shift to another circuit

  10. Switch(verb)

    to walk with a jerk


  1. Switch

    In electrical engineering, a switch is an electrical component that can break an electrical circuit, interrupting the current or diverting it from one conductor to another. The most familiar form of switch is a manually operated electromechanical device with one or more sets of electrical contacts, which are connected to external circuits. Each set of contacts can be in one of two states: either "closed" meaning the contacts are touching and electricity can flow between them, or "open", meaning the contacts are separated and the switch is nonconducting. The mechanism actuating the transition between these two states can be either a "toggle" or "momentary" type. A switch may be directly manipulated by a human as a control signal to a system, such as a computer keyboard button, or to control power flow in a circuit, such as a light switch. Automatically operated switches can be used to control the motions of machines, for example, to indicate that a garage door has reached its full open position or that a machine tool is in a position to accept another workpiece. Switches may be operated by process variables such as pressure, temperature, flow, current, voltage, and force, acting as sensors in a process and used to automatically control a system. For example, a thermostat is a temperature-operated switch used to control a heating process. A switch that is operated by another electrical circuit is called a relay. Large switches may be remotely operated by a motor drive mechanism. Some switches are used to isolate electric power from a system, providing a visible point of isolation that can be padlocked if necessary to prevent accidental operation of a machine during maintenance, or to prevent electric shock.

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Switch

    A device for opening and closing an electric circuit. A simple type is the ordinary telegrapher's switch. A bar of metal is mounted horizontally by a pivot at one end, so as to be free to rotate through an arc of a circle. In one position its free end rests upon a stud of metal. One terminal of a circuit is attached to its journal, the other to the stud. Resting on the stud it closes the circuit, in other positions it opens the circuit.

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Switch' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2083

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Switch' in Nouns Frequency: #1807

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Switch' in Verbs Frequency: #428

Translations for Switch

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


a small lever, handle or other device eg for putting or turning an electric current on or off

The switch is down when the power is on and up when it's off; He couldn't find the light-switch.

Get even more translations for Switch »


Find a translation for the Switch definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these Switch definitions with the community:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"Switch." STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 26 Nov. 2014. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for Switch?

The Web's Largest Resource for

Definitions & Translations

A Member Of The STANDS4 Network

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for Switch: