Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “switch”

switch

noun uk   /swɪtʃ/ us  

switch noun (DEVICE)

B1 [C] a small device, usually pushed up or down with your finger, that controls and turns on or off an electric current: a light switch Can you flip the switch? switches [plural] US for points

switch noun (CHANGE)

[C] a sudden or complete change, especially of one person or thing for another

switch

verb [T, I usually + adv/prep] uk   /swɪtʃ/ us  

switch verb [T, I usually + adv/prep] (DEVICE)

B1 to use a switch to change a device from one state or type of operation to another: switch the TV off/on

switch verb [T, I usually + adv/prep] (CHANGE)

B2 to change suddenly or completely, especially from one thing to another, or to exchange by replacing one person or thing with another: She started studying English at college, but switched to Business Studies in her second year. In 1971, Britain switched over (= changed completely) to a decimal currency. After the bank robbery, the gang switched cars (= left one car and got into another).
(Definition of switch from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of switch?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Not paying attention, but you might be interested in these topics from the Attention and care topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “switch” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

debut

the occasion when someone performs or presents something to the public for the first time

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More