From Wiktionary
switch is one of the 1000 most common headwords.
surprise - switch - system



Plain form

Third-person singular

Past tense

Past participle

Present participle

  1. (transitive & intransitive) If you switch something, you change it to something else.
    He switched his book with mine.
    We switched to a cheaper brand of coffee.
    When they didn't seem to understand, he switched to French.
    Jump ten times, switch legs and repeat.
    I just switched jobs, and at my new job I don't have insurance.
    When his team was losing, he switched sides.
  2. (transitive & intransitive) If you switch a light or machine on, you change something so that it has power and can work.
    She sat up in bed and switched on the light.
  3. (transitive & intransitive) If you switch a light or machine off, you change something so that it doesn't have power and can't work.
    I switched off the computer and went to bed.
  4. (intransitive) If you switch over to something, you change to it, often with no plan to change back to the first thing.
    We used to watch CNN, but we've switched over to BBC World News.
    It was difficult when I switched over from writing to acting.
  5. (transitive) If you switch gears, you change the way you think or act to match a particular situation.
    When I come home from work, it takes me a while to switch gears.
  6. (intransitive) If you switch with somebody, you do something that they usually do and they do the thing that you usually do.
    Sibyl couldn't work on Tuesday, so I switched with her.
  7. (transitive & intransitive) If you switch a machine to a particular setting or function, you set it to work that way.
    She switched the TV to another channel.
    She switched the plane to automatic pilot.




  1. (countable) A switch is what you use to turn lights or other machines and equipment on and off.
    The light switch is on the wall behind the door.
    Where's the on/off switch on this printer?
  2. (countable) A switch is a change from one thing to another.
    It's often difficult for older people to make the switch to living alone.
  3. (countable) A switch is a place on the track where trains can chose between two tracks.
  4. (countable) (technology) A switch is a networking device that connects networks together by sending data (packets) only to the devices that need them.
    Switches are more efficient than hubs because they understand which device needs the data that other devices send them.
  5. A switch is a thin stick.