Meaning of SWITCH in English

I. ˈswich 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 switch ing its tail



(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


a. : to shift to another electrical circuit by means of a switch


(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

switch ed on the gene

intransitive verb

1. : to lash from side to side

2. : to make a shift or exchange

• switch·able ˈswi-chə-bəl adjective

• switch·er noun

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.