Meaning of SWITCH in English

I. ˈswich noun

( -es )

Etymology: perhaps from Middle Dutch swijch bough, branch, twig

1. : a slender flexible whip, rod, or twig

a riding switch


[ switch (II) ]

: an act of switching : the action or office of one who switches: as

a. : a blow with a switch

b. : a turn of a switch

c. : a changing or switching from one (as an investment) to another

d. : a reversal or distinct variation of a familiar or usual mode or situation : a decided or unexpected change from the usual

e. : a shift to another suit than that previously led by one's side in bridge

3. : a tuft of long hairs at the end of the tail of an animal (as a cow or ox) — see cow illustration


a. : a device made usually of two movable rails, necessary connections, and operating parts and designed to turn a locomotive or train from a track on which it is running to another track

b. : a railroad sidetrack

5. : a device for making, breaking, or changing the connections in an electrical circuit

6. : a heavy strand of usually long cut hair fastened at one end and used in addition to a person's own hair for some hairdresses

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )

transitive verb


a. : to strike, beat, whip, or flog with or as if with a switch

lower branches of the hornbeam switching the back of his head — J.C.Powys

b. : to stir up, drive away, or spur on with or as if with a switch

horses contentedly switching flies — B.A.Williams


a. : swing , whisk , lash

switch a cane

horse switches his tail

b. : to jerk or pull with a jerk

the rope may be switched out of your hand


a. : to turn aside : divert , shift , change

switch methods

switch places

switch one's vote

switch the talk to another subject

b. : to dispose of (one issue of securities) and invest the proceeds in another

c. of a produce exchange : to transfer a futures contract from one month to another


a. : to turn from one railroad track to another : transfer by a switch : shunt

b. : to move (cars) to different positions on the same track within terminal areas


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

b. : to operate an electrical switch so as to turn off or on

switch off a current

switch on a light

intransitive verb

1. : to move by or as if by being swung or lashed from side to side

the cat's tail switching

her black hair in a long thick braid switching to the speed of the … hoofs — Edna Ferber

2. : to move off on or as if on a spur track


a. : to change or shift things, places, methods, actions, or directions

b. : to lead a suit other than that which one's side previously led in a card game

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.