switch noun

1 small button/lever

ADJ. mains, master, power The mains switch is in the cupboard under the stairs. | electric, electrical | dimmer, off, on, on-off, time, timer We fitted dimmer switches in all the bedrooms. I couldn't find the off switch on the remote control. | ignition, intercom, light

VERB + SWITCH flick, flip, press, pull, throw, turn off/on Someone threw a switch and the electricity went off.

SWITCH + VERB activate sth, control sth, operate sth This switch controls the heating system.

PREP. by (a) ~ The light operates by time switch. | on a ~ The heater is on a timer switch. | ~ for the switch for the air conditioning

PHRASES at the flick of a switch in the days before electricity was available at the flick of a switch | a bank of switches The pilot reached across to the huge bank of switches on his right and flicked a couple.

2 change that sb makes

ADJ. abrupt, immediate, sudden | big | complete | tactical The team's manager made a shrewd tactical switch in defence.


PREP. ~ away from There will be no overnight switch away from old voting habits. | ~ back to, ~ between the recent switches between direct and indirect taxation | ~ from her switch from full-time to part-time work | ~ in their abrupt switch in allegiance | ~ (over) to theatre directors who make the switch over to films