Definition of switch noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//swɪtʃ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//swɪtʃ//
    Electronics, Railway tracks and stations, How machines work
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  1. 1  a small device that you press or move up and down in order to turn a light or piece of electrical equipment on and off a light switch an on-off switch That was in the days before electricity was available at the flick of a switch. Which switch do I press to turn it off? to throw a switch (= to move a large switch) Wordfinderbattery, charge, conduct, connect, electricity, generate, insulate, power, switch, wire see also kill switch See related entries: Electronics, How machines work
  2. 2a change from one thing to another, especially when this is sudden and complete switch (in/of something) a switch of priorities switch (from A to B) She made the switch from full-time to part-time work when her first child was born. a policy switch
  3. 3(North American English) the points on a railway/railroad line See related entries: Railway tracks and stations
  4. 4a thin stick that bends easily a riding switch
  5. Word Originlate 16th cent. (denoting a thin tapering riding whip): probably from Low German.Extra examples I couldn’t find the off switch on the remote control. Someone threw a switch and the electricity went off. The heater is on a timer switch. The light operates by a timer switch. The mains switch is in the cupboard under the stairs. The master switch is under the stairs. The pilot reached across to the huge bank of switches on his right and flicked a couple. The team’s manager made a shrewd tactical switch in defence. There will be no overnight switch away from old voting habits. This switch controls the heating system. We fitted dimmer switches in all the bedrooms. her switch from full-time to part-time work in the days before electricity was available at the flick of a switch the recent switches between direct and indirect taxation the switch for the air conditioning theatre directors who make the switch over to films their abrupt switch in allegiance He has vehemently opposed the policy switch. to throw a switch
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: switch