[ swit-ser-luhnd ]

  1. a republic in central Europe. 15,944 sq. mi. (41,294 sq. km). Capital: Bern.

  • French Suisse [swees] /swis/ .
  • German Schweiz [shvahyts] /ʃvaɪts/ .
  • Italian Sviz·ze·ra [zveet-tse-rah] /ˈzvit tsɛ rɑ/ .
  • Latin Hel·ve·tia [hel-vee-shuh] /hɛlˈvi ʃə/ .

Words Nearby Switzerland

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use Switzerland in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Switzerland


/ (ˈswɪtsələnd) /

  1. a federal republic in W central Europe: the cantons of Schwyz, Uri, and Unterwalden formed a defensive league against the Hapsburgs in 1291, later joined by other cantons; gained independence in 1499; adopted a policy of permanent neutrality from 1516; a leading centre of the Reformation in the 16th century. It lies in the Jura Mountains and the Alps, with a plateau between the two ranges. Official languages: German, French, and Italian; Romansch minority. Religion: mostly Protestant and Roman Catholic. Currency: Swiss franc. Capital: Bern. Pop: 7 996 026 (2013 est). Area: 41 288 sq km (15 941 sq miles): German name: Schweiz French name: Suisse Italian name: Svizzera Latin name: Helvetia (hɛlˈviːʃə)

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

Cultural definitions for Switzerland


Republic in central Europe, bordered by France to the west, Germany to the north, Liechtenstein and Austria to the east, and Italy to the east and south. Its capital is Bern, and its largest city is Zurich.

Notes for Switzerland

Known for its strict neutrality, Switzerland maintained armed neutrality in both World War I and World War II.

Notes for Switzerland

Swiss banks allow depositors to be identified by a number known only to the depositor and a few bank officials; private fortunes can therefore be kept secret.

Notes for Switzerland

It is famous for its watchmaking industry and its milk chocolate.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.