Definition of on–off in US English:

on–off

adjective

  • 1(of a switch) having two positions, “on” and “off.”.

    • ‘And for people who are concerned about harmful effects of airbags, on-off switches are available.’
    • ‘Power is preferably supplied to the at least two tilt switches through at least one battery and an on-off switch.’
    • ‘The trick lies in the fact that the gate in a flash transistor - the microscopic on-off switch inside a flash chip - is wrapped in a layer of silicon dioxide that prevents electrons from escaping.’
    • ‘Hardware problems - most notably a heat-sensitive on-off switch that could power up or shut down the system on warm days - plagued the machine from the start.’
    • ‘Now, researchers have designed an on-off switch for a motor made from a spinning protein fragment just 11 nanometers wide.’
    • ‘That's the light-emitting diode, or LED, which is becoming increasingly prevalent in items ranging from on-off switches to taillights and traffic signals.’
    • ‘‘Task lights also need to have more than an on-off switch,’ says Steffy.’
    • ‘It's nice enough looking, but the sliding on-off switch can be jostled into the ‘on’ position while passively nestled in a duffel bag.’
    • ‘An AP reporter saw a grey wire with an on-off switch leading from the scene of the attack to a small concrete room at the side of the road.’
    • ‘These are arranged in a hierarchy on the control panel to highlight major functions - the on-off switch is a large button - and downplay others.’
    • ‘However, as cells regulate their activities and respond to the environment, they use many of the same tricks that go into digital circuits, such as on-off switches and feedback loops.’
    • ‘When the normal supply of LOX is depleted and the emergency oxygen in the seat pan is activated, you must turn the normal LOX on-off switch to the off position.’
    • ‘‘The whole thing just happens in a beaker at a chemistry bench,’ he says, and the device performs well as both an amplifier and an on-off switch.’
    • ‘Further, ‘tuned oscillators’ are on-off switches that automatically synchronize with each other.’
    • ‘There's no on-off switch for caring, empathy, and showing respect.’
    • ‘Anyone who has struggled to find the on-off switch on the computer will appreciate a new technology being developed by researchers at the Department of Engineering.’
    • ‘On the same side there's also a voice memo button (top silver elongated key), an on-off switch and a tray for a memory card, tucked behind the main keypad.’
    • ‘Such an on-off switch could be useful to surgeons - but don't look for human experiments anytime soon.’
    • ‘Both are big, closed-back-style headphones with the control electronics, battery, and on-off switch built into the right phone instead of a separate handheld unit.’
    • ‘Though a tad awkward to use, the on-off switch on the back of the device lets you play songs in order, which you might want to do, say, if you just bought a new album.’
  • 2(of a relationship) not continuous or steady.

    • ‘However, the couple had continued with an on-off relationship and Mr Boyes sometimes stayed over at the house.’
    • ‘Over the years, Scotland and I have had an on-off relationship.’
    • ‘They had an on-off relationship but met up again just after Christopher was diagnosed with AIDS.’
    • ‘Spike and Lynda's on-off working and extra-curricular relationships and hilarious slanging matches ran throughout the series.’
    • ‘After a stormy on-off relationship, the couple married in 1995.’
    • ‘Their on-off relationship provided the axis to the first three years of the series.’
    • ‘Despite the on-off nature of their relationship, the need to create a stronger ITV network was apparent by the summer.’
    • ‘And for all the talk of his on-off affair with Scotland, the rucks, the barneys, the therapy and the revelations, he's still a national treasure.’
    • ‘It emerged last night that Mr Young had previously been separated from his wife before their on-off relationship finally ended in December.’
    • ‘The Formula One boss, who has had a turbulent on-off relationship with the British beauty, set tongues wagging after it emerged he planned to host a lavish 35th birthday party for the beauty aboard his yacht in Cannes last.’
    • ‘The couple have had a stormy on-off relationship - they first split at the end of 2002 and Verne reportedly almost drank himself to death because he was so heartbroken.’
    • ‘A-Rod, as he is known, has had an on-off relationship with another American teenager, a 16-year-old from Tennessee called Ashley Harkleroad.’
    • ‘His bride was a Greek born princess who, because of her country's on-off relationship with its own monarchy, had spent the past 12 years in Parisian exile.’
    • ‘Kim, one time actress and director/writer of upcoming film ‘Unspoken’ has had an on-off relationship with the ex-boy band member and is now pregnant with their baby, which is due in September.’
    • ‘I am a girl and have an on-off relationship with another girl.’
    • ‘Despite their on-off relationship, the boy from Dundalk asked the girl from Lurgan to wed and she accepted.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, Godfrey's on-off relationship with the sick room is continuing as the 14-try winger is struggling with tonsillitis, having shaken off a stubborn hamstring strain.’
    • ‘In the bar, she meets Georgi, a TV reporter, and they begin an on-off relationship.’
    • ‘His on-off relationship with a famous actress results in the birth of a son whom Ellis promptly disowns.’
    • ‘Miss Young added: ‘He was in an on-off relationship which was more off than on.’’

Pronunciation

on–off

/ˌɑnˈɔf//ˌänˈôf/