"4 pole"

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Senior Member
does the expression "4 pole" have any particular meaning? Some of my fellow students came across it in an english test. I have tried to google it, but too many (some 300.000) hits came out. I dunno if the expression has some sort of meaning to it of its own? I do not have any context, sorry.
  • nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    We need CONTEXT.

    There is such a thing as a N-POLE switch, which would be a switch with N positions. A car ignition is typically a 4-pole switch, with possitions for: ACC, OFF, ON, START

    Any other meanings would require more context.


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    A 4-pole switch would switch four circuits, rather than have four positions.
    Looking at the Google hits, there are many different examples of 4-pole. Most of them seem to relate to something that has four poles - with different meanings of pole.
    I can't think of, or find, any particularly unusual meaning of 4-pole.

    el alabamiano

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    The term "Pole" as used in designating plugs and receptacles refers to a terminal to which a circuit conductor (always current carrying) is connected. In switches, the number of poles indicates the number of conductors being controlled. source
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