switchblade

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

switch +‎ blade

Noun[edit]

switchblade (plural switchblades)

  1. A folding knife with a blade which opens automatically (under spring pressure) when a button is pressed.

Verb[edit]

switchblade (third-person singular simple present switchblades, present participle switchblading, simple past and past participle switchbladed)

  1. (transitive) To attack or cut with a switchblade.
    • 1987, Ron Rearick & ‎Doug Murren, Iceman, ISBN 0830714316, page 53:
      I got terrible hangovers from the cheap booze; and, one night, I almost got switchbladed when I put my arm around the wrong "lady of the night.
    • 2015, Paul Maher Jr. & ‎Caitlin Stuart, Love That Loves Us: Reflections on the Films of Terrence Malick, ISBN 1329521498:
      They are the American dream torn asunder, like clean fresh laundry left drying on the clothesline, switchbladed by bored boys of summer.
    • 2016, Daniel Kraus, The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume Two: Empire Decayed, ISBN 1481411446:
      Finally there was Jackie, the gold-toothed gang member (as she liked to remind us) who'd switchbladed thirty or forty or fifty people
  2. (intransitive) To spring open or up.
    • 2007, Richard Canning, Between Men: Best New Gay Fiction, ISBN 0762442832, page 253:
      Switchblading open their silvery cell phones, they call their mortgage brokers and say “Buy.”
    • 2007, David Poyer, The Command: A Novel, ISBN 1429907959, page 190:
      Steering and stabilization fins switchblading out, followed by the wings.
    • 2009, Erik Raschke, The Book of Samuel: A Novel, ISBN 1429983345, page 200:
      I stood there waiting for the three remaining Rottweilers to come barreling toward the fence, fangs switchbladed open.
    • 2015, Jeffrey Bartsch, Two Across, ISBN 145555460X:
      He ticked off the facts, switchblading out a finger for each one.
  3. (transitive, intransitive) To (cause to) make a sudden move or transition.
    • 1963, Cleveland Amory & ‎Earl Blackwell, Celebrity Register:
      He briefly rocked medical school, switchbladed to accounting and finally joked his first radio script in 1938.
    • 2002, Plays International - Volume 18, page 15:
      The play's principal comic manoeuvre is to have concern switchblading into callousness.
    • 2007, Lynn Hoffman, Bang Bang, ISBN 1601640005, page 76:
      Daniel's smile is fixed, but his eyes are switchblading from side to side, looking at Paula, looking for an exit.
    • 2014, Carol Muske-Dukes, Dear Digby: A Novel, ISBN 1480484806:
      The lantern began swinging to its own rhythm, switchblading light all over the tent.

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