switch

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be sleeping at the switch

To be failing to attend to one's responsibilities or duties; to be inattentive to that which is important or for which one is responsible. Johnson was supposed to make sure the paperwork went through before the deadline, but it looks like he was sleeping at the switch. Our goalkeeper is such a nincompoop. We would have won that match if he hadn't been sleeping at the switch!
See also: sleep, switch

fall asleep at the switch

To fail to attend to one's responsibilities or duties; to be inattentive to that which is important or for which one is responsible. Johnson was supposed to make sure the paperwork went through before the deadline, but it looks like he fell asleep at the switch. Our goalkeeper is such a nincompoop. We would have won that match if he hadn't fallen asleep at the switch!
See also: asleep, fall, switch

sleeping at the switch

Failing to attend to one's responsibilities or duties; inattentive to that which is important or for which one is responsible. Johnson was supposed to make sure the paperwork went through before the deadline, but it looks like he was sleeping at the switch. Our goalkeeper is such a nincompoop. We would have won that match if he hadn't been sleeping at the switch!
See also: sleep, switch

bait and switch

1. A deceptive sales practice in which a store attracts customers by advertising low prices for products that are not available or are of poor quality, so that customers buy more expensive items instead. A: "Why did you buy such an expensive blender? What happened to the one that was on sale?" B: "That one is sold out and won't be available for months—the store pulled a real bait and switch."
2. Any deceptive practice in which the information initially presented is found to be untrue. I thought my favorite band was playing at this club tonight, but it turned out to be a bait and switch—it's just a cover band.
See also: and, bait, switch

change horses in midstream

1. To choose a new leader during a period of upheaval or uncertainty. The prime minister has been at the helm throughout the crisis. I just don't think we should change horses in midstream.
2. To make major changes to a situation or course of action that is already underway. We're about to close on the house, and my husband suddenly wants to change horses in midstream and look at another property!
See also: change, horse, midstream

be asleep at the switch

To fail to attend to one's responsibilities or duties; to not do or be inattentive to that which is important or for which one is responsible. Johnson was supposed to make sure the paperwork went through on time before the deadline, but it looks like he was asleep at the switch. Our goalkeeper is such a nincompoop. We would have won if he hadn't been asleep at the switch!
See also: asleep, switch

asleep at the switch

Failing to attend to one's responsibilities or duties; not doing or paying attention to that which is important or for which one is responsible. Johnson was supposed to make sure the paperwork went through before the deadline, but it looks like he was asleep at the switch.
See also: asleep, switch

switch gears

To quickly or abruptly change what one is doing or discussing. With that out of the way, let's switch gears and discuss our strategy for the third quarter. About halfway into the story, the book switches gears and begins a narrative from the perspective of the antagonist.
See also: gear, switch

*asleep at the switch

Fig. not attending to one's job; failing to do one's duty at the proper time. (Alludes to a technician or engineer on a train sleeping instead of turning whatever switches are required. *Typically: be ~; fall ~.) The security guard fell asleep at the switch and a robber broke in. If I hadn't been asleep at the switch, I'd have noticed the car being stolen.
See also: asleep, switch

bait and switch

Fig. a deceptive merchandising practice where one product is advertised at a low price to get people's attention [the bait], but pressure is applied to get the customer to purchase a more expensive item. Walter described how the store used bait and switch, since they never seemed to have in stock the bargains that they advertised. Wilbur accused the merchant of bait and switch practices and stalked out of the store.
See also: and, bait, switch

change horses in midstream

 and change horses in the middle of the stream
Fig. to make major changes in an activity that has already begun; to choose someone or something else after it is too late. (Alludes to someone trying to move from one horse to another while crossing a stream.) I'm already baking a cherry pie. I can't bake an apple pie. It's too late to change horses in the middle of the stream. The house is half-built. It's too late to hire a different architect. You can't change horses in midstream. Jane: I've written a rough draft of my research paper, but the topic doesn't interest me as much as I thought. Maybe I ought to pick a different one. Jill: Don't change horses in midstream.
See also: change, horse, midstream

switch around

to change, swing, or turn around. The horse switched around and ran the other way. I switched around and sat looking the other way for a while.
See also: around, switch

switch (around) (with someone or something)

to exchange or trade with someone or something. (The optional elements cannot be transposed.) I liked Jill's lunch, and she liked mine, so I switched around with her. I liked Jill's, and she liked mine, so we switched around with each other.

switch back

 (to something)
1. to return to using or doing something. I decided to switch back to my old shampoo. I switched back and was glad I did.
2. [for a road] to reverse upon itself. The mountain road switched back twenty times in three miles. It switched back every now and then.
See also: back, switch

switch from someone (to someone else)

to change one's choice from one person to another. I had chosen Jeff, but I will switch from him to Judy. Tom wanted to try a new barber, so he switched from Nick to Bruno.
See also: switch

switch from something (to something else)

to change one's choice from one thing to another. We switched from oil to gas heat in our house. I don't like to switch from one brand to another.
See also: switch

switch into something

to change [one's clothes] into something else. Let me switch into something a little more dressy if we are going to a nice restaurant. I have to switch into something more comfortable.
See also: switch

switch off

 
1. Lit. [for something] to turn itself off. At midnight, all the lights switched off automatically. The television switched off after I went to sleep.
2. Fig. [for someone] to stop paying attention; to become oblivious to everything. I got tired of listening and switched off. You could see that the audience was switching off.
See also: off, switch

switch on

 
1. [for something] to turn itself on. Exactly at midnight, the lights switched on. The radio switched on early in the morning to wake us up.
2. Sl. [for someone] to become alert or excited. The wild music made all the kids switch on and start to dance. About midnight, Ed switches on and becomes a real devil.
See also: on, switch

switch over (to someone or something)

to change to or choose someone or something else. That newscaster is too contentious. Switch over to another station. Okay, I'll switch over.
See also: over, switch

switch someone or something around

to change, swing, or turn someone or something. I was prepared for a late flight out of Miami, but they switched me around at the last minute. They switched around my flights.
See also: around, switch

switch someone or something off

to cause someone or something to be quiet or stop doing something. I got tired of listening to her, so I punched the button and switched her off. I switched off the television set.
See also: off, switch

switch someone or something over to something

to reassign, change, or convert someone or something to something. They switched me over to a later flight. I want to switch my furnace over to gas.
See also: over, switch

switch someone or something over to someone or something

to transfer electronically a signal from someone or something to someone or something else. Tom is on the line. Shall I switch him over to Jeff? Please switch the call over to my other line.
See also: over, switch

switch someone or something through

to connect someone or something with something else. I will switch you through the priority network. The operator switched the call through.
See also: switch, through

switch something back (to something)

to return something to the way it was. I switched the television back to the previous channel. I switched back the channel to what I was watching before.
See also: back, switch

switch something (from something) (in)to something

to change something from one thing into another. The magician switched the silk scarf from red into green. I would love to be able to switch lead into gold.
See also: switch

switch something on

to close an electrical circuit that causes something to start functioning or operating. Please switch the fan on. I switched on the fan.
See also: on, switch

switch something out

to remove something from an electrical circuit to turn it off. Please switch the light out. I switched out the light.
See also: out, switch

switch something over (to something)

to convert something to something else. We are switching our furnace over to gas. We switched over our furnace to gas.
See also: over, switch

switch something to (something else)

to change something to something else. It was hot so I switched the thermostat from heating to cooling. Mary switched the controls to automatic so she wouldn't have to worry about them constantly.
See also: switch

switch to something

to change to something. I am going to switch to a cheaper brand of tissues. We switched to a different long-distance telephone company to save some money.
See also: switch

switched on

 
1. Sl. alert and up-to-date; with it. My brother is switched on and has lots of friends. I'm not switched on. In fact, I am pretty dull.
2. Sl. excited. I get switched on by that kind of music. I am never switched on by raucous music.
See also: on, switch

asleep at the switch

Also, asleep at the wheel. Inattentive, not doing one's job, as in At the critical moment the watchman was asleep at the switch and only called the fire department when it was too late . This term came from 19th-century American railroading, when it was the trainman's duty to switch cars from one track to another by means of manually operated levers. Should he fail to do so, trains could collide. It was later transferred to any lack of alertness. The wheel in the variant is a steering wheel; similarly disastrous results are implied.
See also: asleep, switch

bait and switch

A deceptive commercial practice in which customers are induced to visit a store by an advertised sale item and then are told that it is out of stock or that it is far inferior to some more expensive item. For example, I won't buy a car from this outfit; they're notorious for their bait and switch tactics. The verb to bait has meant to supply a hook or trap with a morsel of food so as to attract a fish or animal since about 1300; the verb to switch has meant to change, alter, or transfer from one thing to another since the 1890s. The pairing of the two, however, dates only from the 1920s, although the practice is surely much older. It is called switch-selling in Britain.
See also: and, bait, switch

switch off

Stop paying attention, lose interest, as in Whenever he starts in on economics, I switch off automatically. This metaphoric expression transfers turning off a light switch or similar device to diverting one's attention. [c. 1860] Also see switch on.
See also: off, switch

switch on

Produce as if operating by a control, as in She switched on the charm as soon as he walked in. [Mid-1900s] Also see switch off.
See also: on, switch

bait and switch

AMERICAN
Bait and switch is a method of attracting customers by making a good offer, but then the customer is sold something of lower quality. The live performances were not shown often, and no doubt some viewers considered it a bait and switch. The bar really sells 11 dishes for the advertised price at lunch. There's no bait and switch here.
See also: and, bait, switch

change horses in midstream

or

switch horses in midstream

If someone changes horses in midstream or switches horses in midstream, they stop using one method or thing and start using another one, or they stop supporting one person and start supporting someone else. I think we were very wise not to change horses in midstream. Note: You can also just say that someone changes horses or switches horses. Andersson is angered at the way Taylor initially supported the deal, only to switch horses later and back the opposing bid. Note: These expressions are often used to advise someone against doing one of these things. Note: The American President Abraham Lincoln used this expression in 1864, `I am reminded of the story of an old Dutch farmer, who remarked to a companion that it was best not to swap horses when crossing streams.'
See also: change, horse, midstream

switch around

v.
1. To alter something by shifting its components: The baseball manager switched the lineup around so that the best batter would go first. The decorator switched around the room to make it feel less cramped.
2. To swap someone or something with another: The decorator switched the chair around with the bookcase. The manager switched the two players around.
See also: around, switch

switch off

v.
1. To deactivate something using a switch: We switched off the lights before we left the house. Switch that vacuum cleaner off so you can hear what I'm saying.
2. To stop paying attention; lose interest: The whole class switched off when the professor started talking about accounting.
3. To alternate performing some task with another person: We switch off the baby-sitting every Friday so that one of us can go to the movies. It's a long drive, but if we switch off we won't get tired.
See also: off, switch

switch on

v.
To activate something using a switch: We switched on the lights and entered the room. I switched the fan on to cool down the kitchen.
See also: on, switch

switch over

v.
1. To make or undergo a shift from one thing to another: I switched over to the trumpet from the saxophone. Some groups have started using the new operating system, but our division won't switch over until next year.
2. To shift someone or something from one thing to another: The IT department switched our division over to the new operating system. A better medicine came out, so the doctor switched over all her patients.
3. To change channels: I switched over to the classical music station when I got bored with the news.
See also: over, switch

asleep at the switch

mod. inattentive to duty. (Not literal.) Donald was asleep at the switch when the call came in.
See also: asleep, switch

switch

n. a switchblade knife. (The folding pocket knife springs open when a button is pushed.) They found a switch in his pocket when they searched him.

switch off

in. to become oblivious to everything. I want to go home and switch off—just forget this whole day. I have to switch off when I go home.
See also: off, switch

switch on

1. in. to come alive. She saw her child and immediately switched on.
2. in. to become modern and participate in current fads and events. Most kids I know switched on when they went to high school.
3. in. to get high on drugs; to begin taking LSD or some other hallucinogens. (see also turn on, switched on.) There was some old man who seemed to get pleasure from getting kids to switch on. Maybe he was a dealer.
See also: on, switch

switched on

1. mod. alert and up-to-date; with it. My brother is switched on and has lots of friends.
2. mod. excited. I am never switched on by raucous music.
See also: on, switch

switch-hitter

1. n. a ballplayer who bats either right-handed or left-handed. (Baseball.) I’m not a switch-hitter. In fact, I can hardly hit the ball at all.
2. n. a bisexual person. (From sense 1) Bart finally decided he was a switch-hitter and asked Brad for a date since Mary was busy.
References in periodicals archive ?
4K x 2K 2D/3D Switchable Glasses-Free TV Display video can be viewed at: http://www.
By integrating switchable filters, we have produced a part that is not only tailored to the needs of emerging high definition applications, but one that will also prove useful to designers still working with the latest standard definition television and monitor systems," he adds.
The ESBG technology is a switchable version of the industry-standard fiber Bragg gratings currently used in telecommunications.
This switchable mirror is a good example of an inadvertent spin-off from basic research," says Griessen.
The EdgeStar 212 is a fourteen port switch with twelve 10 megabit dedicated ports and two autosensing, switchable 10/100 ports, while the EdgeStar 224 offers twenty-four 10 megabit dedicated ports and two switchable 10/100 ports.
High-tech inventions like switchable windows and fluidized-bed walls are only part of the solar picture.
Mountain View, CA, USA) today announced a switchable PAL/NTSC version of its popular Composium digital production suite.
ColorLink, a leading supplier of polarization and color management optics for the consumer electronics industry, today announced the release of SnapWave(TM), a solid state switchable color filter for the digital image capture market.
EDINBURGH, Scotland -- The world's first Class A/B-to-Class D switchable stereo CODEC is now available from Wolfson Microelectronics (LSE:WLF).
Ellis will oversee worldwide sales of Chyron's full graphics systems product line, including the Duet family featuring the new HyperX HD/SD switchable system with powerful 3D graphics capabilities for live applications.
Fully mouse switchable, the Adder TS4 enables users to respond quickly to events and control all four trading systems using a three button mouse.
As a result of the partnership between DataMirror and Constant Data, Constant Replicator can be integrated with DataMirror iCluster(TM), DataMirror's iSeries high availability solution, to offer iSeries customers a single switchable high availability environment to handle multiple operating systems running on a single IBM i5 system.