What does Switzerland mean?

Definitions for Switzerland
ˈswɪt sər ləndSwitzer·land

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word Switzerland.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Switzerland, Swiss Confederation, Suisse, Schweiz, Svizzeranoun

    a landlocked federal republic in central Europe


  1. Switzerlandnoun

    A sovereign country in south central Europe. Official name: Swiss Confederation.

  2. Etymology: Compound of Switzer + land, adopted in the 16th century from Early Modern German Schwytzerland "land of the Swiss".


  1. Switzerland

    Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in western Europe, where it is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning an area of 41,285 km². While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8 million people is concentrated mostly on the Plateau, where the largest cities are to be found. Among them are the two global cities and economic centres - Zurich and Geneva. The Swiss Confederation has a long history of armed neutrality—it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815—and did not join the United Nations until 2002. It pursues, however, an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world. Switzerland is also the birthplace of the Red Cross and home to a large number of international organizations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association and is part of the Schengen Area – although it is notably not a member of the European Union, nor the European Economic Area.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Switzerland

    a republic of Central Europe, bounded by Germany (N.), France (W.), Italy (S.), and Austria and Germany (E.); in size is slightly more than one-half of Scotland, of semicircular shape, having the Jura Alps on its French border, and divided from Italy by the great central ranges of the Alpine system, whence radiate the Swiss Alps—Pennine, Lepontine, Bernese, &c.—covering the E. and S., and occupying with intervening valleys two-thirds of the country; the remaining third is occupied by an elevated fertile plain, extending between Lakes of Constance and Geneva (largest of numerous lakes), and studded with picturesque hills; principal rivers are the Upper Rhône, the Aar, Ticino, and Inn; climate varies with the elevation, from the high regions of perpetual snow to warm valleys where ripen the vine, fig, almond, and olive; about one-third of the land surface is under forest, and one quarter arable, the grain grown forming only one-half of what is required; flourishing dairy farms exist, prospered by the fine meadows and mountain pastures which, together with the forests, comprise the country's greatest wealth; minerals are exceedingly scarce, coal being entirely absent. Despite its restricted arable area and lack of minerals the country has attained a high pitch of prosperity through the thrift and energy of its people, who have skilfully utilised the inexhaustible motive-power of innumerable waterfalls and mountain streams to drive great factories of silks, cottons, watches, and jewellery. The beauty of its mountain, lake, and river scenery has long made Switzerland the sanatorium and recreation ground of Europe; more than 500 health resorts exist, and the country has been described as one vast hotel. The Alpine barriers are crossed by splendid roads and railways, the great tunnels through St. Gothard and the Simplon being triumphs of engineering skill and enterprise. In 1848, after the suppression of the Sonderbund (q. v.), the existing league of 22 semi-independent States (constituting since 1798 the Helvetic Republic) formed a closer federal union, and a constitution (amended in 1874) was drawn up conserving as far as possible the distinctive laws of the cantons and local institutions of their communes. The President is elected annually by the Federal Assembly (which consists of two chambers constituting the legislative power), and is assisted in the executive government by a Federal Council of seven members. By an institution known as the "Referendum" all legislative acts passed in the Cantonal or Federal Assemblies may under certain conditions be referred to the mass of the electors, and this is frequently done. The public debt amounts to over two million pounds. The national army is maintained by conscription; 71 per cent. of the people speak German, 22 per cent. French, and 5 per cent. Italian; 59 per cent. are Protestants, and 41 per cent. Catholics. Education is splendidly organised, free, and compulsory; there are five universities, and many fine technical schools.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. switzerland

    A federal republic in Central Europe; bounded on the north by Baden, northeast by Würtemberg and Bavaria, east by the principality of Liechtenstein and the Tyrol, south by Piedmont and Savoy, and west and northwest by France. Switzerland was in Roman times inhabited by two races,—the Helvetii on the northwest, and the Rhætians on the southeast. When the invasions took place, the Burgundians settled in Western Switzerland, while the Alemanni took possession of the country east of the Aar. The Goths entered the country from Italy, and took possession of the country of the Rhætians. Switzerland in the early part of the Middle Ages formed part of the German empire, and feudalism sprang up in the Swiss highlands even more vigorously than elsewhere. During the 11th and 12th centuries, the greater part of Switzerland was ruled on behalf of the emperors by the lords of Zahringen, who did much to check civil wars. They, however, became extinct in 1218, and then the country was distracted by wars, which broke out among the leading families. The great towns united in self-defense, and many of them obtained imperial charters. Rudolph of Habsburg, who became emperor in 1273, favored the independence of the towns; but his son Albert I. took another course. He attacked the great towns, and was defeated. The leading men of the Forest Cantons met on the Rütli meadow, on November 7, 1307, and resolved to expel the Austrian bailiffs or landvögte. A war ensued which terminated in favor of the Swiss at Morgarten (which see) in 1315. Schwyz, Uri, and Unterwalden, with Lucerne, Zürich, Glarus, Zug, and Bern, eight cantons in all, in 1352, entered into a perpetual league, which was the foundation of the Swiss Confederation. Other wars with Austria followed, which terminated favorably for the confederates at Nafels (which see) and Sempach (which see). In 1415, the people of the cantons became the aggressors. They invaded Aargau and Thurgau, parts of the Austrian territory, and annexed them; three years later, they crossed the Alps, and annexed Ticino, and constituted all three subject states. The Swiss were next engaged in a struggle on the French frontier with Charles the Bold of Burgundy. They entered the field with 34,000 men, to oppose an army of 60,000, and yet they were successful, gaining the famous battles of Granson and Morat (see Morat) in 1476. In 1499, the emperor Maximilian I. made a final attempt to bring Switzerland once more within the bounds of the empire. He sought to draw men and supplies from the inhabitants for his Turkish war, but in vain. He was defeated in six desperate engagements. Basel and Schaffhausen (1501), and Appenzell (1513), were then received into the confederation, and its true independence began. New troubles sprang up with the Reformation. War broke out in 1531 between the Catholics and Protestants, and the former were successful at Cappel (which see), where Zwingli was slain. This victory to some extent settled the boundaries of the two creeds; in 1536, however, Bern wrested the Pays de Vaud from the dukes of Savoy. During the Thirty Years’ War, Bern and Zürich contrived to maintain with great skill the neutrality of Switzerland, and in the treaty of Westphalia, in 1648, it was acknowledged by the great powers as a separate and independent state. At this period, the Swiss, in immense numbers, were employed as soldiers in foreign service, and the record of their exploits gives ample evidence of their courage and hardihood. In 1798, Switzerland was seized by the French. At the peace of 1815, its independence was again acknowledged. In 1839, at Zürich, a mob of peasants, headed by the Protestant clergy, overturned the government. In Valais, where universal suffrage had put power into the hands of the reactionary party, a war took place in which the latter were victorious. In 1844, a proposal was made in the Diet to expel the Jesuits; but that body declined to act. The radical party then organized bodies of armed men, called the Free Corps, which invaded the Catholic cantons; but they were defeated. The Catholic cantons then formed a league, named the Sonderbund, for defense against the Free Corps. A majority in the Diet, in 1847, declared the illegality of the Sonderbund, and decreed the expulsion of the Jesuits. In the war which ensued between the federal army and the forces of the Sonderbund, the former were victorious at Freiburg and Lucerne. The leagued cantons were made liable in all the expenses of the war, the Jesuits were expelled, and the monasteries were suppressed. Since then, the most important event which has occurred was a rebellion against the king of Prussia, as prince of Neufchâtel. The canton was declared a republic, with a constitution similar to that of the other Swiss states.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Switzerland

    The English form of the Austrian Schwyz and German Schweitz, originally the name of the three forest cantons whose people threw off the Austrian yoke and asserted the independence of the whole country.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce Switzerland?

How to say Switzerland in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Switzerland in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Switzerland in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of Switzerland in a Sentence

  1. Alessandro Marcon:

    We were quite surprised for the marked increase in smoking initiation in young adolescents, in girls from West Europe -- Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland -- the rate of smoking initiation in young adolescents reached the rate observed in late adolescents, age 16 to 20, around year 2005, although for the latter group the rate was declining.

  2. Cameron Bure:

    I just came back from Switzerland two days ago with my husband, we had a little five-day vacation, so that was wonderful. We do like to travel and get away from everything here at home in L.A., and from our kids, as much as we love them. We want alone time; you know what I mean? And our kids are older too.

  3. Paul Beardsley:

    We are working on different modules for the BeachBot to take it off beaches and into other situations, snowy fields are a possibility, pretty good for Switzerland at least.

  4. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble:

    And this had to be painfully learned in Switzerland after a referendum (on limiting free movement of people) ... That's how it is.

  5. Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove:

    We've been buying invasive ventilators from partners abroad, including Germany and Switzerland, and today 300 new ventilators arrived from China, I'd like to thank the Chinese government.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Switzerland

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for Switzerland »


Find a translation for the Switzerland definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these Switzerland definitions with the community:



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


    "Switzerland." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 26 Sep. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Switzerland>.

    Are we missing a good definition for Switzerland? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    a container used for carrying money and small personal items or accessories (especially by women)
    • A. assortment
    • B. decline
    • C. purse
    • D. trigger

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for Switzerland: