verb (used with object)
- to move or transfer (a train, car, etc.) from one set of tracks to another.
- to drop or add (cars) or to make up (a train).
verb (used without object)
Origin of switch
Synonyms for switch
Related Words for switchshift, alteration, transformation, reversal, about-face, convert, veer, replace, turn, swap, divert, substitution, interchange, deviate, deflect, trade, rearrange, sidetrack, turnabout, substitute
Examples from the Web for switch
Contemporary Examples of switch
However, that switch to potatoes occurred around the 19th Century.I Ate Potato Pancakes Til I Plotzed
December 17, 2014
In a series of more than 20 tweets, Hatem admitted that he tried to get AQAP to switch allegiances from Zawahiri to Baghdadi.Murder Vids Help ISIS Lure More Monsters
November 16, 2014
We drive back to Asadabad in silence, where we switch cars for security reasons and begin the six hour drive back home.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley
Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman
November 15, 2014
For example, you can switch to morning or lunchtime workouts or go straight to the gym instead of stopping at home first.4 Science-Backed Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Out
September 13, 2014
If a fan has a Spanish or Japanese accent, George will switch languages to accommodate them.Why We're Obsessed With George Takei
Jennifer M. Kroot
August 20, 2014
Historical Examples of switch
Caradoc reached for it, followed it with his hand and presently turned a switch.The Cruise of the Dry Dock
T. S. Stribling
Then, when he was satisfied that everything was ready, he reversed the switch.Pirates of the Gorm
As he pulled out the switch, the aeronaut gave a glance at the apparatus.Tom Swift and his Electric Runabout
Governor Drake sprang to switch it on, and tried to explain to Smithy as he did so.Two Thousand Miles Below
Charles Willard Diffin
Then, as abruptly as light goes on when a switch is thrown, the noise vanished.Happy Ending
Word Origin for switch
1590s, "slender riding whip," probably from a Flemish or Low German word akin to Hanoverian swutsche, a variant of Low German zwukse "long thin stick, switch," from Germanic base *swih- (cf. Old High German zwec "wooden peg," German Zweck "aim, design," originally "peg as a target," Zwick "wooden peg"), perhaps connected with PIE root *swei- "to swing, bend, to turn."
The meaning "device for changing the direction of something or making or breaking a connection" is first recorded 1797. "The peg sense suits the mech(anical) applications" [Weekley], and these senses may be a direct borrowing from those senses in Continental Germanic languages rather than a continuation of the "pliant wand" sense. The meaning "a change, a reversal, an exchange, a substitution" is first recorded 1920.
1610s, "to strike with a switch," from switch (n.). Related: Switched; switching. The meaning "turn off or on" is first recorded 1853 of trains on tracks, 1881 of electricity, 1932 of radio or (later) television. Sense of "shift, divert" is from 1860. Meaning "to change one thing for another" is recorded from 1919. Switch-hitter is 1930s in baseball slang, 1956 in the sense of "bisexual person."
In addition to the idioms beginning with switch
- switch off
- switch on
- asleep at the switch
- bait and switch