I. noun Etymology: perhaps from Middle Dutch swijch twig Date: 1592 1. a slender flexible whip, rod, or twig <
a riding switch
2. an act of switching: as a. a blow with a switch b. a shift from one to another c. a change from the usual <
that outfit is a switch
3. a tuft of long hairs at the end of the tail of an animal (as a cow) — see cow illustration 4. a device made usually of two movable rails and necessary connections and designed to turn a locomotive or train from one track to another 5. a device for making, breaking, or changing the connections in an electrical circuit 6. a heavy strand of hair used in addition to a person's own hair for some coiffures II. verb Date: circa 1611 transitive verb 1. to strike or beat with or as if with a switch 2. whisk, lash <
a cat switching its tail
3. a. (1) to turn from one railroad track to another ; shunt (2) to move (cars) to different positions on the same track within terminal areas b. to make a shift in or exchange of <
switch seats
4. a. to shift to another electrical circuit by means of a switch b. (1) to operate an electrical switch so as to turn (as a device) on or off — usually used with on or off (2) to change to or from an active state — usually used with on or off <
switched on the gene
intransitive verb 1. to lash from side to side 2. to make a shift or exchange • switchable adjectiveswitcher noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Switch — Switch, n. [Cf. OD. swick a scourage, a whip. Cf. {Swink}, {Swing}.] 1. A small, flexible twig or rod. [1913 Webster] Mauritania, on the fifth medal, leads a horse with something like a thread; in her other hand she holds a switch. Addison. [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Switch — Switch, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Switched}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Switching}.] 1. To strike with a switch or small flexible rod; to whip. Chapman. [1913 Webster] 2. To swing or whisk; as, to switch a cane. [1913 Webster] 3. To trim, as, a hedge. [Prov.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Switch — Switch, v. i. To walk with a jerk. [Prov. Eng.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Switch? — is a pricing game on the American television game show The Price Is Right . Debuting on February 27, 1992, this game is played for two prizes, each worth more than $1,000. It has occasionally been played for two cars, particularly during… …   Wikipedia

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