Definition of switchboard in English:



  • 1An installation for the manual control of telephone connections in an office, hotel, or other large building.

    • ‘During WW I field telephones and switchboards were developed.’
    • ‘Extra personnel were dispatched to the switchboard, and nonessential telephone calls were rerouted to voice mail boxes.’
    • ‘As manual switchboards were phased out after World War II, we started moving from analog to digital telephony.’
    • ‘Had the switchboard at the hotel connected her to the wrong room?’
    • ‘Callers jammed the switchboards of radio stations to express their shock at the fall from grace of a national hero after the news broke yesterday morning.’
    • ‘By 1887 there were 26,000 telephones in use in Britain (and 150,000 in the United States) and multiple switchboards had been installed in most major towns and cities.’
    • ‘The devices were intended to tap phone lines used by the various governments, and were reportedly installed at the building's switchboard.’
    • ‘They jammed telephone switchboards or left town, many just huddled on their front lawns in a state of fear, resignation or hysteria.’
    • ‘This brief account leaves the impression that the central nervous system is little more than a set of cables running up and down, with something akin to a telephone switchboard in between.’
    • ‘Remember when the telephone industry had switchboards and operators?’
    • ‘The paper also quoted an unnamed American contractor who had prepared a bid to install telephone switchboards at the Qatar base.’
    • ‘He actually worked in the centre of Birmingham on the emergency telephone switchboard.’
    • ‘On the plus side, the system worked despite the switchboard and office phone system.’
    • ‘I think she still believes there are ladies with headsets and twinsets plugging away at switchboards.’
    • ‘Callers were unable to get through to one of North Yorkshire Police's main switchboards when its telephone system was plunged into ‘chaos’ at the weekend.’
    • ‘Last year the traffic on international telephone switchboards topped 100 billion for the first time.’
    • ‘I was asked to work through to operate the telephone switchboard, and she was certainly very busy making dozens of calls.’
    • ‘The tactical network consisted of satellite terminals, telephone switchboards and data network operation equipment.’
    • ‘That's where the workers were, that's where the telephone switchboard was, that's where the suppliers were.’
    • ‘As well as improvements to messes, major works included installation of new switchboards, an improved stern door, removal and cleaning of both propellers, hull survey work and the addition of tank deck drains.’
    1. 1.1
      another term for helpline
    2. 1.2 An apparatus for varying connections between electric circuits in other applications.
      • ‘Switchgear or switchboards can be used as the distribution and overcurrent protection for the system.’
      • ‘Sailors in HMS Argyll have been praised for their quick response when a fire was discovered in the frigate's forward electrical switchboard.’