Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

switch off - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyswitch off
he/she/itswitches off
present participleswitching off
past tenseswitched off
past participleswitched off
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] if you switch off something such as a light or a machine, or if it switches off, it stops working

    I parked the car and switched off the engine.

    The heat has switched off.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] informal to stop listening to someone, or to stop thinking about something

    He just switches off and ignores me.

  3. 3
    American informal if people switch off doing something, each of them does it for a while, one after the other
See also main entry: switch
quiz invitation


a description of an economic or political situation based on analysis of information at the present time

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an unregulated form of capitalism that features financial deregulation, privatisation and low tax for high earners

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play