switch on

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switch on

1. To activate, connect, or start the function of something, with or as with a power switch. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "switch" and "on." Would you switch on the water heater for me, please? I need to switch on the lights to see properly. Make sure you have the car in neutral before you switch it on.
2. To activate or begin functioning automatically or as if automatically. The computer switches on as soon as you wiggle the mouse. We've set the lights to switch on at 8 PM every evening while we're on vacation so people don't know the house is empty.
3. To become animated, lively, and alert, especially suddenly or on short notice. Tom was a bit at the start of dinner, but he switched on after he'd had a couple of drinks. She's such a quiet, reserved woman most of the time, but she really switches on when we all go out for dancing on the weekends.
4. To begin exuding or producing something as if connected to a power supply. Toddlers know how to switch on the cuteness after being naughty so they don't get in as much trouble. I don't have as many qualifications as some of the other applicants, so I'll definitely have to switch on the charm during the interview.
See also: on, 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 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

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

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

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 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