[swich-bawrd, -bohrd]

noun Electricity.

a structural unit on which are mounted switches and instruments necessary to complete telephone circuits manually.
Also called lightboard. a panel of switches, dimmers, etc., for controlling the lighting on a stage or in an auditorium.

Origin of switchboard

An Americanism dating back to 1870–75; switch + board
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for switchboard

headquarters, hotbed, core, focus, heart, hub, HQ, epicenter, ganglion, switchboard

Examples from the Web for switchboard

Historical Examples of switchboard

  • The bomb probably was electrical and undoubtedly had been fused like the switchboard.

    The Whispering Spheres

    Russell Robert Winterbotham

  • Jill remained where she was, leaning with one hand against the switchboard.

    Jill the Reckless

    P. G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse

  • The switchboard instruments have already been described briefly.

    Electricity for the farm

    Frederick Irving Anderson

  • He reached the switchboard and pulled one of the little levers.

    The Secret House

    Edgar Wallace

  • There was a small thing which looked like the switchboard of a telegraph office.

    Pharaoh's Broker

    Ellsworth Douglass

British Dictionary definitions for switchboard



an installation in a telephone exchange, office, hotel, etc, at which the interconnection of telephone lines is manually controlled
an assembly of switchgear for the control of power supplies in an installation or building
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 switchboard

1873, from switch (n.) + board (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper