Definition of switchback in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈswɪtʃbak/


1British A road, path, or railway with alternate sharp ascents and descents: the path was a switchback of hills and wooded dales [as modifier]: it is a switchback journey with many ups and downs
More example sentences
  • They're more like a journey on a switchback that suddenly becomes a mass parade and then a plunge in icy water.
  • With the rear end of the bike being so light the F1 is a must on UK courses making easy work of tight switchbacks.
  • The effort of climbing the long, arduous switchbacks to the Keansani Pass was eased by the glorious view back down the valley every time we paused for breath (which was often).
1.1A roller coaster.
Example sentences
  • Resembling an unwound helter-skelter the Switchback reached a dizzying top speed of 6 miles per hour.
2North American A 180° bend in a road or path, especially one leading up the side of a mountain: the trail soon leads robustly straight up, with few switchbacks [as modifier]: a switchback road
More example sentences
  • The trick with this route is to park a car at the your end-point on the road (usually the second switchback down the east-slope side of the pass).
  • A stair is designed to appear carved out of the building like a switchback mountain path.
  • This is a 1.5-mile road of switchback bends on a 7% gradient.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: switch|back

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.