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 on (2 of 2)

switch-on

[ swich-on, -awn ]
/ ˈswɪtʃˌɒn, -ˌɔn /

noun

the act or process of switching on an ignition, light, appliance, etc.

Origin of switch-on

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

British Dictionary definitions for switch on (1 of 2)

switch on


verb (adverb)

to cause (a device) to operate by or as if by moving a switch, knob, or lever; turn on
(tr) informal to produce (charm, tears, etc) suddenly or automatically
(tr) informal (now slightly dated) to make up-to-date, esp regarding outlook, dress, etc
(tr) slang to arouse emotionally or sexually
(intr) slang to take or become intoxicated by drugs
(tr) slang to introduce (someone) to drugs

British Dictionary definitions for switch on (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 on (1 of 2)

switch on


Produce as if operating by a control, as in She switched on the charm as soon as he walked in. [Mid-1900s] Also see switch off.

Idioms and Phrases with switch on (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.