switch1 W3S2 [swıtʃ] v
1.) [I and T]
to change from doing or using one thing to doing or using another
switch to
She worked as a librarian before switching to journalism.
switch from sth to sth
Duval could switch easily from French to English.
switch between sth and sth
He switches between TV and theatre work.
The terrorists will switch tactics .
switch sides/allegiance
(=start supporting a different person, party etc)
He switched sides just days before the election.
switch attention/focus/emphasis
We want to switch the focus away from criticism.
2.) [T]
to replace one thing with another, or exchange things
= ↑change switch sth for sth
Tim may switch his BMW for something else.
switch sth from sth to sth
We've switched the meeting from Tuesday to Thursday.
switch sth around
It's not easy to switch clerical workers around.
3.) [I and T] AmE
if you switch with someone who does the same job as you, you exchange your working times with theirs for a short time
British Equivalent: swapswitch with
Tom said he'd switch with me on Saturday.
He asked if we could switch shifts.
4.) [T always + adverb/preposition]
to change the way a machine operates, using a switch
switch sth to sth
Switch the freezer to 'defrost'.
switch off phr v
1.) to turn off a machine, light, radio etc using a switch
switch sth<=> off
The burglar alarm was switched off.
Don't forget to switch off before you go.
see usage noteclose1
2.) informal to stop listening to someone
He just switches off and ignores me.
3.) to relax for a short time
Switch off by listening to music.
switch on phr v
to turn on a machine, light, radio etc using a switch
switch sth<=>on
He switched the torch on.
When a tape is put in the VCR, it switches on automatically .
switch over phr v
1.) to change from one method, product etc to another
switch over to
We've switched over to telephone banking.
2.) to change the television ↑channel you are watching or the radio station you are listening to
switch over to
Switch over to BBC 2.
switch 2
switch2 S3 n
[Date: 1500-1600; Origin: Perhaps from Middle Dutch swijch 'small thin stick']
1.) ¦(ON/OFF)¦
a piece of equipment that starts or stops the flow of electricity to a machine, light etc when you push it
Where's the light switch ?
an on-off switch
press/flick/throw etc a switch
Tom flicked the switch, but nothing happened.
She claims she is willing to throw the switch of the electric chair.
at the flick of a switch
(=very quickly and easily, by pressing a switch)
Petrol can be chosen at the flick of a switch.
2.) ¦(CHANGE)¦ [usually singular]
a complete change from one thing to another
an important policy switch
switch from/to
the switch from agriculture to dairy production
switch in
a switch in emphasis
More shoppers are making the switch to organic food.
that's a switch
AmE spoken informal (=used to say that someone's behaviour is different from usual)
'Ed's the only one who's not eating.' 'That's a switch!'
3.) ¦(RAILWAY)¦
AmE a piece of railway track that can be moved to allow a train to cross over from one track to another
4.) ¦(STICK)¦
old-fashioned a thin stick that bends easily

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

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