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[swich-bawrd, -bohrd] /ˈswɪtʃˌbɔrd, -ˌboʊrd/
noun, Electricity
a structural unit on which are mounted switches and instruments necessary to complete telephone circuits manually.
Also called lightboard. a panel of switches, dimmers, etc., for controlling the lighting on a stage or in an auditorium.
Origin of switchboard
1870-75, Americanism; switch + board Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for switchboard
  • The jobs lost will be low-paying ones, such as bank tellers and switchboard operators.
  • The switchboard operator routed her call to the hotel's security dispatcher.
  • The hospital switchboard, following orders, declined.
  • However, taps through the large switchboard at a newspaper or a government agency were not feasible, and were not installed.
  • Most communications equipment operators work as switchboard operators or telephone operators for a wide variety of businesses.
  • Submit certified reports of factory tests performed on each switchboard unit.
British Dictionary definitions for switchboard


an installation in a telephone exchange, office, hotel, etc, at which the interconnection of telephone lines is manually controlled
an assembly of switchgear for the control of power supplies in an installation or building
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for switchboard

1873, from switch (n.) + board (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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