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switch engine

noun, Railroads.
a locomotive for switching rolling stock in a yard.
Also called switcher, switching locomotive.
Origin of switch engine
1865-70, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for switch-engine
Historical Examples
  • As soon as you've seen the switch-engine started for the woods, meet me down at Water and B streets.

    The Valley of the Giants Peter B. Kyne
  • She heard the bell of a switch-engine in the distant railway-yard.

    The Cottage of Delight Will N. Harben
  • The interruption was the dash of a switch-engine up the yard with another car to be coupled to the waiting mountain line train.

    The King of Arcadia Francis Lynde
  • It was up to me to make a quick play; for he was just ripe to go buttin' around those tracks and run afoul of a switch-engine.

    Shorty McCabe Sewell Ford
  • His face grew serious as he listened to me, and I saw him watching a switch-engine through the window.

    I Walked in Arden Jack Crawford
  • At a grade crossing, a switch-engine overturned his craft, about as gently as such an accident could be accomplished.

    The Modern Railroad Edward Hungerford
  • In the round-house he found the switch-engine crew on duty, waiting for steam in the boiler.

    The Valley of the Giants Peter B. Kyne
  • Didn't see anything of our switch-engine while you were looking for your bridge-timbers and saw-mills and other things, did you?

  • Edison happened along and said to the local operator, "Come out here, Bill, on this switch-engine and we'll fix things!"

  • Bryce stepped over to the switch-engine and looked up at his late enemy.

    The Valley of the Giants Peter B. Kyne

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