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a. A sharp bend in a road or trail on a steep incline.
b. A point on a mountain railway where trains reverse direction to continue obliquely up or down a slope without turning.
c. A road, trail, or railway that has such bends or points in it.
d. A section of such a road, trail, or railroad, extending in a nearly opposite direction to the section coming before or after it.
2. Chiefly British A roller coaster.
intr.v. switch·backed, switch·back·ing, switch·backs
To proceed in sharp turns in alternating directions on a steep incline: the trail switchbacked up the mountain; the hikers switchbacked up the hill.


1. (Civil Engineering) a mountain road, railway, or track which rises and falls sharply many times or a sharp rise and fall on such a road, railway, or track
2. another word (esp Brit) for big dipper



1. a highway, as in a mountainous area, having many hairpin curves.
2. a zigzag railroad track arrangement for climbing a steep grade.
3. (of a road, railroad track, etc.) to progress through a series of hairpin curves; zigzag.
[1860–65, Amer.]
horská dráha
bakket vejrutschebane
horská železnica
eğlence treni


[ˈswɪtʃbæk] N (Brit) (at fair) → montaña f rusa; (= road) → camino m de fuertes altibajos


[ˈswɪtʃbæk] n (British)montagnes fpl russes


[ˈswɪtʃˌbæk] n (Brit) (roller coaster) → montagne fpl russe


(switʃ) noun
1. a small lever, handle or other device eg for putting or turning an electric current on or off. The switch is down when the power is on and up when it's off; He couldn't find the light-switch.
2. an act of turning or changing. After several switches of direction they found themselves on the right road.
3. a thin stick.
to change, turn. He switched the lever to the `off' position; Let's switch over to another programme; Having considered that problem, they switched their attention to other matters.
ˈswitchback noun
a railway eg in an amusement park, or a road that has many ups and downs (and sudden turns). Let's go along the switchback.
ˈswitchboard noun
a board with many switches for controlling electric currents etc, or for making connections by telephone, eg within a large office etc.
switch on/off
to put or turn on/off (an electric current / light etc). He switched on the light; Switch off the electricity before going on holiday.
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References in classic literature ?
Through her half-closed eyelids she watched Terence lying back in his chair, and she smiled as she saw how big his mouth was, and his chin so small, and his nose curved like a switchback with a knob at the end.
When you're driving on mountain roads, perhaps on switchbacks, the car can become difficult to control.
stitches that go right left right again, no more switchbacks loping up a
The steep slopes and rugged terrain of this trail section require the construction of several switchbacks and retaining walls to minimize trail slope.
The IMBA cited the trail's 20 miles of singletrack as "the burly, backcountry brother of the nearby McKenzie River Trail" with stunning views, tight switchbacks and a 4,000-foot climb followed by a thrilling 5,000 foot descent.
Freestyle motocross (FMX), mountainbikes (M1TB), bicycle motocross (BMX), quad bikes, inibikes and snowmobiles all feature in the action-packed show, which includes acrobatic wheelies, stoppies and switchbacks, 360 flips, double backflips, backflip trains, snowmobile flips, and synchronised riding and jumping, all themed to live music mixes, wild pyrotechnics, and dramatic special effects.
Their music switchbacks between genres more times than you care to count - from the stomping foottapper Criss Cross to the sweet acoustic solo of new song Seven Winds, it's a double-edged sword perhaps.
Chinese test pilot Li Zhonghua was the first to run with the torch along a stretch of the wall at Badaling, where it switchbacks across steep hills and valleys to the north of Beijing.
Known simply as "the Alpe", the 14km climb at a gradient of almost 8% through 21 needle-sharp switchbacks has made champions and broken pretenders in the 54 years since it first featured on the Tour.
Only those who always wondered how things got the way they did at Gateway will persevere through the shifts and switchbacks.
It's a very steep road with lots of switchbacks,'' Florea said.
And unlike traditional vehicle races that include mostly straights and curves, this race included tunnels, mountain switchbacks, lake beds, and on- and off-road stretches--similar to routes typical military convoys follow.