American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. One or more panels accommodating control switches, indicators, and other apparatus for operating electric circuits.
- n. See telephone exchange.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A device by means of which interchangeable connections can be established readily between the many circuits employed in systems of telegraphy, telephony, electric lighting, or electric-power distribution. A common form consists of two sets of rods or plates of brass set at right angles to each other, each rod carefully insulated, the end of each plate or strip being joined to one of the lines. Any one of these may be joined to any other by means of metal plugs inserted at the point where the corresponding strips cross each other. Many kinds of switchboard are made, each being adapted to the particular use for which it is intended.
- n. telecommunications The electronic panel that is used to direct telephone calls to the desired recipient.
- n. electronics A device that directs electricity from one source to another.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Elec.) a collection of switches in one piece of apparatus, so arranged that a number of circuits may be connected or combined in any desired manner.
- n. an elctrical apparatus consisting predominantly of a panel on which are switches or other means of completing electrical circuits; -- used especially for the devices used in telephone exchanges. See sense 2.
- n. (Telephone) An apparatus containing switches by means of which a connection may be made from an incoming telephone line to any one of numerous outgoing lines. The switches may be either mechanical or electronic, and the switching action may be automatic, controlled by signals in the incoming call, or manual, controlled by a switchboard operator. In older style manual switchboards, the circuits were connected by the use of patchcords, inserted into plugs.
- n. telephone central where circuits are completed with patchcords
“DNC should then ask the Callers to press 2, which sends them to the Rush Limbaugh's main switchboard .....”
“So the White House switchboard is jammed, how do legitimate calls get through?”
“So, does it anger you when you call a switchboard that is located in India and the person on the other line says their name is "Bob" instead of "Brahmabrata"?”
“When she left, I called the switchboard and requested the Patient Advocate.”
“I called the switchboard again -- this time I requested the CEO's office.”
“Whenever somebody called the switchboard and asked for Mr. Fuckface, the switchboard operator always put him straight through.”
“I'll expect to hear you calling our switchboard then.”
“What I got was transferred from the main switchboard to the Commissioner’s Office, and when I explained what I wanted, I was switched to McCain-Palin Election Headquarters, where a functionary took my message and said someone would call be back.”
“I called the switchboard and after talking to one of the president’s staff, I was put on the line with Mr. Reagan.”
“I did not know they had time to call the switchboard while they were raptly listening to Newt, Rush, Palin, Cheney, or perhaps themselves.”
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