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I read a blog post which includes the following sentence:

I hear many PhD students say they feel stressed because they can’t switch off.

What does the term switch off mean in the sentence above?

I guess it means a person switching between different status, but still I need your confirmation.

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closed as general reference by tchrist, MετάEd, Kristina Lopez, RegDwigнt Mar 31 '13 at 17:27

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

'get their minds off the demands their positions make on them, and relax - with friends / a good book / a glass of ruby ale; to watch a film / football match ...' – Edwin Ashworth Mar 31 '13 at 15:18
@EdwinAshworth thanks, Edwin. Seemed my guessing is wrong. – nn0p Mar 31 '13 at 15:23
Before asking here, you should at least check a dictionary or two. Then, if you're still confused, you should include the definitions you found, and explain why you're still confused. Questions here are expected to be asked with a least a modicum of research done first. Also, if you're confused about simple idioms such as switch off, you might want to try the site for English Language Learners, although the same protocol of "research first - then ask" applies there as well as here. – J.R. Mar 31 '13 at 15:55
@J.R. Thanks, J.R. You provide me a great dictionary link.Very useful. I'm a new English learner. Seemed I should post my questions on ELL. – nn0p Mar 31 '13 at 16:41
@nn0p: Hope to see you over there :^) Glad to help. – J.R. Mar 31 '13 at 19:46
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Macmillan, switch off > to stop listening to someone, or to stop thinking about something

In your context, the PhD students get stressed because they never get time to stop thinking about their work.

Here are some other idioms and phrases associated with the word switch like switch on, switch out, switch around etc..

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