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- (transitive) To turn a switch to the "off" position in order to stop or disable a device.
1893, The Electrical Review, volume 32, page 554:
- To switch off the instrument when the clockwork is not wound up, and to remind the subscriber of doing so, there is provided an indicator, x, which is worked in the following manner.
1906, National Electric Light Association, National Electric Light Association Twenty-Ninth Convention, page 420:
- We have found that a patrolman in the central section of the city can switch on, and later switch off, 100 signs with ease.
2001, David Gerrold, Bouncing Off the Moon, page 208:
- He began shutting down the flight controls, switching off all the things he'd switched on before, switching on all the things he'd switched off.
- (idiomatic) To lose interest, and start thinking about something else.
2011 December 21, Tom Rostance, “Fulham 0 - 5 Man Utd”, in BBC Sport:
- Fulham switched off as Giggs took a quick corner to Valencia. He played it back to Giggs, whose cross was headed in by Nani with the lurking Rooney unable to add a touch.
2013, Ashbel Vudzijena, Success is a CALLING!, page 82:
- While you are pregnant with the desire for the car, the house or anything, try to switch off your mind to avoid brainstorming any solutions.
2015, Simon Taylor, How To Read The Bible (without switching off your brain):
- In short, the Bible is used by many, believers and atheists alike, as a book best handled only after switching off your brain.
- (intransitive, idiomatic) To alternate between; to trade.
Do you eat all your peas and then all your potatoes, or do you switch off between them as you go?
1869, Oliver Optic, Switch Off; or, the War of the Students:
- "We haven't a musket, and Tommy's crowd are well armed. They have the inside track" "Then we can switch off." "Switch off?" "Yes, and take the inside track."
1997 February 1, Billboard, volume 109, number 5, page 84:
- Besides Crow belting out "Bitch," the concert featured several artists switching off on lead vocals
2014, Samantha Verant, King of the Mutants:
- Freddie gave me a quick five-minute lesson on handling Cherry Pie and we switched off between sleeping and driving.
- (stop, disable): turn off
turn switch to off position
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