[ kohd-swich-ing ]
/ ˈkoʊdˌswɪtʃ ɪŋ /


Linguistics. the alternating or mixed use of two or more languages, especially within the same discourse: My grandma’s code-switching when we cook together reminds me of my family's origins. Bilingual students are discouraged from code-switching during class.
Sociolinguistics. the use of one dialect, register, accent, or language variety over another, depending on social or cultural context, to project a specific identity: Politicians use code-switching on the campaign trail to connect with their audience.
the modifying of one's behavior, appearance, etc., to adapt to different sociocultural norms: For many female Muslim students, code-switching from their home environment to that of school requires forgoing the hijab.

Nearby words

  1. code napoléon,
  2. code of hammurabi,
  3. code word,
  4. code-name,
  5. code-sharing,
  6. codec,
  7. codeclination,
  8. coded,
  9. codefendant,
  10. codeia

Origin of code-switching

First recorded in 1955–60

Also called code-shift·ing [kohd-shif-ting] /ˈkoʊdˌʃɪf tɪŋ/.

Related formscode-switch, verb (used without object) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for code-switching