Pronunciation Noun

switch (plural switches)

  1. A device to turn electric current on and off or direct its flow.
  2. A change.
  3. (rail transport, US) A movable section of railroad track which allows the train to be directed down one of two destination tracks; (set of) points.
  4. A slender woody plant stem used as a whip; a thin, flexible rod, associated with corporal punishment in the United States.
    • 2007, Jeffrey W. Hamilton, Raising Godly Children in a Wicked World, Lulu.com, page 15:
      "A proper switch is a slim, flexible branch off a tree or a bush. A switch applied to the buttocks stings fiercely. It may leave red marks or bruises, but it causes no lasting damage.."
  5. (musical instruments) Synonym of rute#English|rute.
  6. (computer science) A command line notation allowing specification of optional behavior.
    Use the /b switch to specify black-and-white printing.
  7. (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)
  8. (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.
  9. (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.
  10. (BDSM) One who is willing to take either a submissive or a dominant role in a sexual relationship.
    • 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.
  11. 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.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: commutateur
  • Italian: centralino
  • Portuguese: central telefónica (Portugal), central telefônica (Brazil)
  • Russian: коммута́тор
Translations Verb

switch (switches, present participle switching; past and past participle switched)

  1. (transitive) To exchange.
    I want to switch this red dress for a green one.
  2. (transitive) To change (something) to the specified state using a switch.
    Switch the light on.
  3. (transitive) To whip or hit with a switch.
    • 1899 March, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, volume CLXV, number MI, New York, N.Y.: The Leonard Scott Publishing Company, […], OCLC 1042815524 ↗, part II:
      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.
  4. (intransitive) To change places, tasks, etc.
    I want to switch to a different seat.
  5. (slang, intransitive) To get angry suddenly; to quickly or unreasonably become enraged.
  6. To swing or whisk.
    to switch a cane
  7. To be swung or whisked.
    The angry cat's tail switched back and forth.
  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.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Adjective

switch (not comparable)

  1. (snowboarding) Pertaining to riding with the front and back feet swapped round compared to one's normal position.
  2. (freestyle skiing) Pertaining to skiing backwards.
Translations Translations

switch (plural switches)

  1. (video games) Short for Nintendo Switch}.

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