What does Switch mean?

Definitions for Switch

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Switch.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. switch, electric switch, electrical switchnoun

    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, switchnoun

    an event in which one thing is substituted for another

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

  3. switchnoun

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

  4. switchnoun

    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. switchnoun

    a flexible implement used as an instrument of punishment

  6. switchnoun

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

  7. switch, switching, shiftverb

    the act of changing one thing or position for another

    "his switch on abortion cost him the election"

  8. switch over, switch, exchangeverb

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

  9. trade, swap, swop, switchverb

    exchange or give (something) in exchange for

  10. switch, shift, changeverb

    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, shiftverb

    make a shift in or exchange of

    "First Joe led; then we switched"

  12. throw, flip, switchverb

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

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

  13. switchverb

    flog with or as if with a flexible rod

  14. interchange, tack, switch, alternate, flip, flip-flopverb

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


  1. switchnoun

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

  2. switchnoun

    A change.

  3. switchnoun

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

  4. switchnoun

    A slender woody plant stem used as a whip.

  5. switchnoun

    A command line notation allowing specification of optional behavior.

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

  6. switchnoun

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

  7. switchnoun

    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. switchnoun

    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. switchnoun

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

  10. switchverb

    To exchange.

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

  11. switchverb

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

    Switch the light on.

  12. switchverb

    To whip or hit with a switch.

  13. switchverb

    To change places, tasks, etc.

    I want to switch to a different seat.

  14. switchverb

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

  15. switchnoun

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

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Switchnoun

    A small flexible twig.

    Fetch me a dozen crabtree staves, and strong ones; these are but switches. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    When a circle ’bout the wrist
    Is made by beadle exorcist,
    The body feels the spur and switch. Hudibras.

    Mauritania, on the fifth medal, leads a horse with something like a thread; in her other hand she holds a switch. Addison.

  2. To Switchverb

    To lash; to jerk.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Lay thy bridle’s weight
    Most of thy left side; thy right horse then switching, all thy throat
    Spent in encouragements, give him; and all the rein let float. George Chapman, Iliad.


  1. Switch

    In electrical engineering, a switch is an electrical component that can disconnect or connect the conducting path in an electrical circuit, interrupting the electric current or diverting it from one conductor to another. The most common type of switch is an electromechanical device consisting of one or more sets of movable electrical contacts connected to external circuits. When a pair of contacts is touching current can pass between them, while when the contacts are separated no current can flow. Switches are made in many different configurations; they may have multiple sets of contacts controlled by the same knob or actuator, and the contacts may operate simultaneously, sequentially, or alternately. A switch may be operated manually, for example, a light switch or a keyboard button, or may function as a sensing element to sense the position of a machine part, liquid level, pressure, or temperature, such as a thermostat. Many specialized forms exist, such as the toggle switch, rotary switch, mercury switch, push-button switch, reversing switch, relay, and circuit breaker. A common use is control of lighting, where multiple switches may be wired into one circuit to allow convenient control of light fixtures. Switches in high-powered circuits must have special construction to prevent destructive arcing when they are opened.


  1. switch

    A switch is a device that is used to make or break an electrical circuit, interrupting the current flow or diverting it from one circuit to another. It ensures control and manipulation of electrical power in a circuit. Switches can also be a key component in electronics and network devices to control the flow of information or signals.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Switchnoun

    a small, flexible twig or rod

  2. Switchnoun

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

  3. Switchnoun

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

  4. Switchnoun

    a mechanical device for shifting an electric current to another circuit

  5. Switchverb

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

  6. Switchverb

    to swing or whisk; as, to switch a cane

  7. Switchverb

    to trim, as, a hedge

  8. Switchverb

    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. Switchverb

    to shift to another circuit

  10. Switchverb

    to walk with a jerk

  11. Etymology: [Cf. OD. swick a scourage, a whip. Cf. Swink, Swing.]


  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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Switch

    swich, n. a small flexible twig: a movable rail for transferring a carriage from one line of rails to another: a device to make or break a circuit, or transfer an electric current from one conductor to another.—v.t. to strike with a switch: to swing, whisk: to transfer a carriage from one line of rails to another by a switch: to shift from one circuit to another, or in or out of circuit, as an electric current, to shunt.—ns. Switch′back, a term applied to a zigzagging, alternate back-and-forward mode of progression up a slope; Switch′back-rail′way, an apparatus for public amusement, consisting of a short length of elevated railway with a series of rounded inclines, so that the car gains enough of momentum descending the first steep incline to ascend one or more smaller inclines till it gradually and more slowly works its way to the original level at the far end of the course; Switch′ing, a beating with a switch: trimming; Switch′man, a pointsman. [Old Dut. swick, a whip.]

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.

Rap Dictionary

  1. switchnoun

    switch is a kind of a dance. "turn it over and switch" will smith -- (switch).

Suggested Resources

  1. switch

    Song lyrics by switch -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by switch on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Switch is ranked #141140 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Switch surname appeared 118 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Switch.

    55.9% or 66 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    34.7% or 41 total occurrences were White.
    7.6% or 9 total occurrences were of two or more races.

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

How to pronounce Switch?

How to say Switch in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Switch in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Switch in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of Switch in a Sentence

  1. John Logan:

    I think that's one of the major reasons chains are reluctant to do the switch.

  2. German Chancellor Angela Merkel:

    Only with Turkey we can switch illegality to legality. It is very important that the (European) Commission discusses further the migration agenda with Turkey.

  3. Steven Taylor:

    It isn't easy to switch drugs, especially when you're on a serious drug like Actemra, you surely don't want to be bouncing around.

  4. Clarence Ditlow:

    GM consumers got a major victory in their ignition switch lawsuits that were previously barred by the U.S. bankruptcy court.

  5. Justin Denison:

    You can switch between the screens without missing a beat.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Switch

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • skakel, puntAfrikaans
  • مفتاح كهربائيArabic
  • сыбыҡBashkir
  • interruptor, opció, agullaCatalan, Valencian
  • zhasnout, vypínač, vyměnit, přepínač, rozsvítit, rožnout, výhybkaCzech
  • schalten, wechseln, Schalter, Netzwerkweiche, Weiche, Spießrute, Switch, Verteiler, tauschen, austauschenGerman
  • διακόπτης, αλλάζωGreek
  • ŝalti, vergi, vergoEsperanto
  • cambiar, switch, conmutador, interruptor, intercambiar, latigazo, agujaSpanish
  • etengailuBasque
  • سویچPersian
  • vaihde, puhelinkeskus, vaihtaa, keskus, argumentti, katkaisija, vipu, kytkeä, vitsa, puhelinvaihde, lippu, kytkinFinnish
  • changer, interrupteur, échanger, badine, commuter, fouetterFrench
  • lascIrish
  • chanjeHaitian Creole
  • cambiar, commutator, excambiar, cambio, commutarInterlingua
  • cambiare, passare, scambio, centralino, verga, switch, picchiare, opzione, parametro, interruttore, argomento, scambiare, migrare, commutareItalian
  • スイッチ, ポイント, 開閉器Japanese
  • გადართოთGeorgian
  • 포인트, 스위치Korean
  • slēdzis, žagars, pārmijaLatvian
  • сменува, свртница, прачка, шалта, развод, прешалтува, прекинувач, разменуваMacedonian
  • tukar, suisMalay
  • twijg, schakelaar, spitsroede, wisselDutch
  • svitsj, sentral, prylestokk, bryter, pensNorwegian
  • wyłącznik, zwrotnica, przełącznikPolish
  • agulha, central telefónica, vergasta, interruptor, trocar, mudar, comutador, switch on, vergastar, açoitar, switch, açoite, chave, vara, aparelho de mudança de viaPortuguese
  • comutator, întrerupător, comuta, schimba, selector, punctRomanian
  • стрелка, хлыст, коммутаторRussian
  • skretnica, prekidač, korbač, sklopkaSerbo-Croatian
  • vymeniťSlovak
  • stikalo, kretnicaSlovene
  • pikëAlbanian
  • växel, slå, byta, stänga, piska, ändra, strömbrytare, knäppa, brytare, switch, växla, spö, släcka, koppla, tändaSwedish
  • swichiSwahili
  • స్విచ్చిTelugu
  • noktaTurkish
  • перемикачUkrainian
  • xivchin, vikluchatelUzbek
  • ngắt điện, công tắcVietnamese
  • 转变Chinese

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    black-and-red or black-and-yellow orioles of the American tropics
    • A. instigation
    • B. preponderance
    • C. ventricle
    • D. cazique

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