Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

switch

1 verb
     
switch1 S2 W3
1 [intransitive and transitive] 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 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 the focus away from criticism.
2 [transitive] to replace one thing with another, or exchange things [= change]
switch 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 and 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 [= swap British English]
switch 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 machine operates, using a switch
switch something to something
Switch the freezer to 'defrost'.

switch off

phrasal verb
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 note close1
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

phrasal verb
to turn on a machine, light, radio etc using a switch
switch something ↔ on
He switched the torch on.
When a tape is put in the VCR, it switches on automatically.

switch over

phrasal verb
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.

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