switch

[ swich ]
/ swɪtʃ /

noun

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Idioms

    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

Definition for switch off (2 of 2)

switch-off

[ swich-awf, -of ]
/ ˈswɪtʃˌɔf, -ˌɒf /

noun

the act or process of switching off a power supply, light source, appliance, etc.

Origin of switch-off

noun use of verb phrase switch off
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for switch off (1 of 2)

switch off


verb (adverb)

to cause (a device) to stop operating by or as if by moving a switch, knob, or lever; turn off
informal to cease to interest or be interested; make or become bored, alienated, etc

British Dictionary definitions for switch off (2 of 2)

switch

/ (swɪtʃ) /

noun

verb

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

Idioms and Phrases with switch off (1 of 2)

switch off


Stop paying attention, lose interest, as in Whenever he starts in on economics, I switch off automatically. This metaphoric expression transfers turning off a light switch or similar device to diverting one's attention. [c. 1860] Also see switch on.

Idioms and Phrases with switch off (2 of 2)

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.