[ swich ]
/ swɪtʃ /


verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Nearby words

  1. swiss steak,
  2. swiss tournament,
  3. swisser,
  4. swissvale,
  5. swit.,
  6. switch box,
  7. switch cane,
  8. switch engine,
  9. switch grass,
  10. switch off


    asleep at the switch, Informal. failing to perform one's duty, missing an opportunity, etc., because of negligence or inattention: He lost the contract because he was asleep at the switch.

Origin of switch

1585–95; earlier swits, switz slender riding whip, flexible stick; compare Low German (Hanoverian) schwutsche long, thin stick

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for switch

British Dictionary definitions for switch


/ (swɪtʃ) /



Derived Formsswitcher, nounswitchlike, adjective

Word Origin for switch

C16: perhaps from Middle Dutch swijch branch, twig

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for switch
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with switch


In addition to the idioms beginning with switch

  • switch off
  • switch on

also see:

  • asleep at the switch
  • bait and switch
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.