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[tog-uh l] /ˈtɒg əl/
a pin, bolt, or rod placed transversely through a chain, an eye or loop in a rope, etc., as to bind it temporarily to another chain or rope similarly treated.
a toggle joint, or a device having one.
an ornamental, rod-shaped button for inserting into a large buttonhole, loop, or frog, used especially on sports clothes.
  1. Also called toggle rail. a wooden batten across the width of a flat, for strengthening the frame.
  2. Also called toggle iron. a metal device for fastening a toggle rail to a frame.
verb (used with object), toggled, toggling.
to furnish with a toggle.
to bind or fasten with a toggle.
Informal. to turn, twist, or manipulate a toggle switch; dial or turn the switch of (an appliance):
He toggled the TV between the baseball game and the news.
1760-70; perhaps variant of tackle
Related forms
toggler, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for toggle
  • Once the car is warmed up, she flips a fuel toggle on the dashboard to switch to the vegetable oil.
  • They pop up again when you release two toggle-and-loop closures.
  • The crisis has now turned the toggle switch, because risk perception among investors has changed.
  • Once it has, though, you'll be able to toggle between accounts by clicking on your email address at the top of the page.
  • Meyer and his colleagues found that people who toggle between tasks lose valuable time in the transitions.
  • But unfortunately, as they say, with more power comes more annoying privacy settings to toggle.
  • When instructed, you activate that new frequency by pushing one toggle switch.
  • And the do- hickey on the back of a shirt stud is a toggle.
  • At that instant, she pressed a toggle switch on her belt, killing twenty-eight people.
  • toggle the button on the far right bottom for a full-screen view.
British Dictionary definitions for toggle


a wooden peg or metal rod fixed crosswise through an eye at the end of a rope, chain, or cable, for fastening temporarily by insertion through an eye in another rope, chain, etc
a wooden or plastic bar-shaped button inserted through a loop for fastening
a pin inserted into a nautical knot to keep it secure
(machinery) a toggle joint or a device having such a joint
(transitive) to supply or fasten with a toggle or toggles
(computing) (intransitive) often foll by between. to switch to a different option, view, application, etc
Derived Forms
toggler, noun
Word Origin
C18: of unknown origin
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 toggle

1769, "short pin passed through the eye of a rope," a nautical word of uncertain origin, perhaps a frequentative form of tog "tug." Meaning "a kind of wall fastener" is recorded from 1934. Toggle bolt is from 1794; toggle switch first attested 1938.


1836, from toggle (n.). Related: Toggled; toggling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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toggle in Technology

To change a bit from whatever state it is in to the other state; to change from 1 to 0 or from 0 to 1. This comes from "toggle switches", such as standard light switches, though the word "toggle" actually refers to the mechanism that keeps the switch in the position to which it is flipped rather than to the fact that the switch has two positions. There are four things you can do to a bit: set it (force it to be 1), clear (or zero) it, leave it alone, or toggle it.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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