[ swich ]
/ swɪtʃ /
a slender, flexible shoot, rod, etc., used especially in whipping or disciplining.
an act of whipping or beating with or as with such an object; a stroke, lash, or whisking movement.
a slender growing shoot, as of a plant.
a hairpiece consisting of a bunch or tress of long hair or some substitute, fastened together at one end and worn by women to supplement their own hair.
Electricity. a device for turning on or off or directing an electric current or for making or breaking a circuit.
Railroads. a track structure for diverting moving trains or rolling stock from one track to another, commonly consisting of a pair of movable rails.
a turning, shifting, or changing: a switch of votes to another candidate.
Bridge. a change to a suit other than the one played or bid previously.
Basketball. a maneuver in which two teammates on defense shift assignments so that each guards the opponent usually guarded by the other.
a tuft of hair at the end of the tail of some animals, as of the cow or lion.
verb (used with object)
to whip or beat with a switch or the like; lash: He switched the boy with a cane.
to move, swing, or whisk (a cane, a fishing line, etc.) with a swift, lashing stroke.
to shift or exchange: The two girls switched their lunch boxes.
to turn, shift, or divert: to switch conversation from a painful subject.
Electricity. to connect, disconnect, or redirect (an electric circuit or the device it serves) by operating a switch (often followed by off or on): I switched on a light.
- 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).
Movies, Television. to shift rapidly from one camera to another in order to change camera angles or shots.
verb (used without object)
to strike with or as with a switch.
to change direction or course; turn, shift, or change.
to exchange or replace something with another: He used to smoke this brand of cigarettes, but he switched.
to move or sway back and forth, as a cat's tail.
to be shifted, turned, etc., by means of a switch.
Basketball. to execute a switch.
Bridge. to lead a card of a suit different from the suit just led by oneself or one's partner.
Words nearby switch
Idioms for switch
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
OTHER WORDS FROM switch
switch·a·ble, adjectiveswitch·er, nounswitch·like, adjectiveun·switch·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for unswitched
/ (swɪtʃ) /
a mechanical, electrical, electronic, or optical device for opening or closing a circuit or for diverting energy from one part of a circuit to another
a swift and usually sudden shift or change
an exchange or swap
a flexible rod or twig, used esp for punishment
the sharp movement or blow of such an instrument
a tress of false hair used to give added length or bulk to a woman's own hairstyle
the tassel-like tip of the tail of cattle and certain other animals
any of various card games in which the suit is changed during play
US and Canadian a railway siding
US and Canadian a railway point
Australian informal See switchboard
to shift, change, turn aside, or change the direction of (something)
to exchange (places); replace (something by something else)the battalions switched fronts
mainly US and Canadian to transfer (rolling stock) from one railway track to another
(tr) to cause (an electric current) to start or stop flowing or to change its path by operating a switch
to swing or cause to swing, esp back and forth
(tr) to lash or whip with or as if with a switch
Derived forms of switchswitcher, 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 unswitched
In addition to the idioms beginning with switch
- switch off
- switch on
- 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.