toggle

Use the word toggle for a switch that has two positions, on and off. As a verb, it means "switch or alternate," the way you toggle between screens as you video chat with two friends at once.

The 18th century definition of toggle was "pin passed through the eye of a rope to hold it in place." It's still used for a similar kind of fastener, as well as for an up-and-down switch such as a light switch. In computer technology, a toggle is an on-off command, like the key that turns your caps lock on or off. You can also use this word figuratively: you might find it difficult to toggle between French homework and Spanish homework without mixing up your verbs.

Definitions of toggle
  1. noun
    a hinged switch that can assume either of two positions
    synonyms: on-off switch, on/off switch, toggle switch
    see moresee less
    types:
    DIP switch, dual inline package switch
    (computer science) one of a set of small on-off switches mounted in computer hardware; used in place of jumpers to configure the machine for a user
    type of:
    electric switch, electrical switch, switch
    control consisting of a mechanical or electrical or electronic device for making or breaking or changing the connections in a circuit
  2. noun
    a fastener consisting of a peg or pin or crosspiece that is inserted into an eye at the end of a rope or a chain or a cable in order to fasten it to something (as another rope or chain or cable)
    see moresee less
    type of:
    fastener, fastening, fixing, holdfast
    restraint that attaches to something or holds something in place
  3. noun
    any instruction that works first one way and then the other; it turns something on the first time it is used and then turns it off the next time
    see moresee less
    type of:
    command, instruction, program line, statement
    (computer science) a line of code written as part of a computer program
  4. verb
    fasten with, or as if with, a toggle
    see moresee less
    type of:
    fasten, fix, secure
    cause to be firmly attached
  5. verb
    release by a toggle switch
    toggle a bomb from an airplane”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    let go, let go of, release, relinquish
    release, as from one's grip
  6. verb
    provide with a toggle or toggles
    see moresee less
    type of:
    furnish, provide, render, supply
    give something useful or necessary to
Word Family