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1. To return to some previous state or condition. A curse changes the arrogant prince into an ugly toad, so he spends the story trying to find a way to switch back. Your account will switch back to the basic version after the Premium 14-day free trial expires.
2. To cause someone or something to return to some previous state or condition. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "switch" and "back." A: "I'm afraid the experiment has transformed your husband into a half-man, half-fly." B: "Well, figure out a way to switch him back!" We'll have to switch the video output back to composite.
3. To return to something one used to do, have, use, consume, etc. I think I'm going to switch back to my old Internet providers, because this service is terrible. I tried drinking wine for first time the other night, but I hated the way that it tasted, so I switched back to beer. She said her knees have felt much better now that she's switched back to swimming instead of running.
4. To cause someone or something to return to something they used to do, have, use, consume, etc. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "switch" and "back." The bank switched me back to a student account when I started my master's degree. I suggest we switch the machine back to alternating current for the time being.
5. To return ownership or possession of something after engaging in a trade or swap with someone. Do you want to swap cars for a few days? We can switch back after the weekend. My twin brother and I traded places in work the other day to see if anyone noticed, and we still haven't had to switch back.
6. Of a road or path, to create a U-turn and flow in the opposite direction. I always used to get terribly carsick when we drove into the mountains because the roads up there are constantly switching back on themselves. The path will switch back a few times before you reach the top of the hill.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.