From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishswitchswitch1 /swɪtʃ/ ●●●S2W3 verb 🔊 🔊 1[intransitive, transitive]CHANGE FROM ONE THING TO ANOTHER to change from doing or using one thing to doing or using anotherswitch to 🔊 She worked as a librarian before switching to journalism.switch from something to something 🔊 Duval could switch easily from French to English.switch between something and something 🔊 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 focus away from criticism.2[transitive]REPLACE to replace one thing with another, or exchange things syn changeswitch something for something 🔊 Tim may switch his BMW for something else.switch something from something to something 🔊 We’ve switched the meeting from Tuesday to Thursday.switch something around 🔊 It’s not easy to switch clerical workers around.3[intransitive, transitive] American English if you switch with someone who does the same job as you, you exchange your working times with theirs for a short time syn swapswitch with 🔊 Tom said he’d switch with me on Saturday. 🔊 He asked if we could switch shifts.4[transitive always + adverb/preposition] to change the way a machineoperates, using a switchswitch something to something 🔊 Switch the freezer to ‘defrost’.COLLOCATIONSnounsswitch sides (=start supporting someone or something else)Three senators switched sides and voted for the ban.switch (your) allegiance (=start supporting someone else)Most of his supporters had switched their allegiance to his rival.switch channels (=start watching a different TV channel)Rod switched channels with the remote control.switch tacticsSensing that his victim was going to escape him, he switched tactics.switch your attention/focus to somethingLaura wasn't interested so he switched his attention to Tessa.switch brands46% of consumers surveyed were likely to switch brands to support companies they saw as socially responsible, the emphasis switches/is switched to somethingThe emphasis has switched to defence. →switch off →switch on →switch over→ See Verb table
switchswitch2 ●●●S3 noun [countable] 🔊 🔊 1on/offSWITCH ON OR 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 switchpress/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.2changeCHANGE FROM ONE THING TO ANOTHER [usually singular] a complete change from one thing to another 🔊 an important policy switchswitch from/to 🔊 the switch from agriculture to dairy productionswitch in 🔊 a switch in emphasis 🔊 More shoppers are making the switch to organic food.that’s a switch American English 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!’3railway American English a piece of railwaytrack that can be moved to allow a train to cross over from one track to another4stickD old-fashioned a thinstick that bends easilyCOLLOCATIONSverbspress a switchHe pressed a switch on the wall and the door opened.flick/flip a switch (=move it so something starts or stops)You start the fan by just flipping this switch.throw a switch (=move it so something starts or stops, especially something big)Could a nuclear war really be started by someone just throwing a switch?ADJECTIVES/NOUN + switch a light switchHe reached for the light switch.a dimmer switch (=a switch that can change the brightness of a light)an on-off switchI couldn’t find the on-off switch.the power switchThey have reverted to placing the mains power switch at the back of the unit.the mains switch (=one that controls the supply of electricity to a house)The mains switch is located inside a cupboard near the front door.phrasesat the flick/touch of a switch (=very quickly and easily, with a switch)The advantages of having electricity available at the flick of a switch are obvious.