1 Usually an electronic or electromechanical device that is used to connect or disconnect an electric current to an electric circuit (see also optical switch). An electronic switch can present either an effective open circuit or closed circuit depending on the status of an applied “select” signal. These switches are often used to provide isolation between low- and high-voltage switching circuits or to allow remote control of electric systems. The word is also used as a verb, followed by a suitable preposition.
2 A type of branch with a choice of many places to which control may be passed. The destination of the branch is determined by the value of some variable or expression. Most high-level languages have a means of doing this: Algol 60 has switch variables; Fortran has computed GOTOs; and several other languages, such as C, C++, Java, Pascal, and Ada, have case statements.
3 To undergo or cause to undergo switching.
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