Dictionary > Switch

Switch

switch
1. To strike with a switch or small flexible rod; to whip.
2. To swing or whisk; as, to switch a cane.
3. To trim, as, a hedge.
4. To turn from one railway track to another; to transfer by a switch; generally with off, from, etc.; as, to switch off a train; to switch a car from one track to another.
5. To shift to another circuit.
Origin: Switched; Switching.
1. A small, flexible twig or rod. Mauritania, on the fifth medal, leads a horse with something like a thread; in her other hand she holds a switch. (Addison)
2. A movable part of a rail; or of opposite rails, for transferring cars from one track to another.
3. A separate mass or trees of hair, or of some substance (at jute) made to resemble hair, worn on the head by women.
4. A mechanical device for shifting an electric current to another circuit. Safety switch, an arrangement of tracks whereby elevations otherwise insurmountable are passed. The track ascends by a series of zigzags, the engine running alternately forward and back, until the summit is reached.
(Science: physics) Switch board, a collection of switches in one piece of apparatus, so arranged that a number of circuits may be connected or combined in any desired manner. Switch grass.
(Science: botany) See grass.
Origin: Cf. OD. Swick a scourage, a whip. Cf. Swink, Swing.