Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One or more panels accommodating control switches, indicators, and other apparatus for operating electric circuits.
  • n. See telephone exchange.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The electronic panel that is used to direct telephone calls to the desired recipient.
  • n. A device that directs electricity from one source to another.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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. 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.

from The 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. telephone central where circuits are completed with patchcords

Etymologies

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