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verb \ˈkȯl\

Simple Definition of call

  • : to speak in a loud voice

  • : to announce or read (something) in a loud voice

  • of a bird or animal : to make the sound that is usual for a particular type of bird or animal

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of call

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to speak in a loud distinct voice so as to be heard at a distance :  shout <call for help> b :  to make a request or demand <call for an investigation> c of an animal :  to utter a characteristic note or cry d :  to get or try to get into communication by telephone <just called to say hello> —often used with up e :  to make a demand in card games (as for a particular card or for a show of hands) f :  to give the calls for a square dance

  3. 2 :  to make a brief visit <called to pay his respects> <called on a friend>

  4. transitive verb
  5. 1 a (1) :  to utter in a loud distinct voice —often used with out <call out a number> (2) :  to announce or read loudly or authoritatively <call the roll> <call off a row of figures> (3) :  to announce the play-by-play of (as a football game) b (1) :  to command or request to come or be present <was called to testify> (2) :  to cause to come :  bring <calls to mind an old saying> c :  to summon to a particular activity, employment, or office <was called to active duty> <was called to the bar of justice> d :  to invite or command to meet :  convoke <call a meeting> e :  to rouse from sleep or summon to get up f (1) :  to give the order for :  bring into action <call a strike against the company> <call a pitchout> (2) :  to manage by giving the signals or orders <that catcher calls a good game> g (1) :  to make a demand in bridge for (a card or suit) (2) :  to require (a player) to show the hand in poker by making an equal bet (3) :  to challenge to make good on a statement (4) :  to charge with or censure for an offense <deserves to be called on that> h :  to attract (as game) by imitating the characteristic cry i :  to halt (as a baseball game) because of unsuitable conditions j :  to rule on the status of (as a pitched ball or a player's action) <call balls and strikes> <call a base runner safe> k :  to give the calls for (a square dance) —often used with off l (1) :  to demand payment of especially by formal notice <call a loan> (2) :  to demand presentation of (as a bond or option) for redemption m (1) :  to get or try to get in communication with by telephone <call the doctor to make an appointment> (2) :  to generate signals for (a telephone number) in order to reach the party to whom the number is assigned <call 911> (3) :  to make a signal to in order to transmit a message <call the flagship>

  6. 2 a :  to speak of or address by a specified name :  give a name to <call her Kitty> b (1) :  to regard or characterize as of a certain kind :  consider <can hardly be called generous> (2) :  to estimate or consider for purposes of an estimate or for convenience <call it an even dollar> c (1) :  to describe correctly in advance of or without knowledge of the event :  predict (2) :  to name or specify in advance <call the toss of a coin>

  7. 3 :  to temporarily transfer control of computer processing to (as a subroutine or procedure)

call a spade a spade
  1. 1 :  to call a thing by its right name however coarse

  2. 2 :  to speak frankly

call for
  1. 1 :  to call (as at one's house) to get <I'll call for you after dinner>

  2. 2 :  to require as necessary or appropriate <the job calls for typing skills> <the design calls for three windows>

call forth
  1. :  elicit, evoke <these events call forth great emotions>

call in question or call into question
  1. :  to cast doubt upon <a report calling into question the drug's effectiveness>

call it a day
  1. :  to stop for the remainder of the day or for the present whatever one has been doing

call it quits
  1. :  to call it a day :  quit

call names
  1. :  to address or speak of a person or thing contemptuously or offensively

call on
  1. 1 :  to call upon

  2. 2 :  to elicit a response from (as a student) <the teacher called on her first>

call one's bluff
  1. :  to challenge in order to expose an empty pretense or threat

call the shots
  1. :  to be in charge or control :  determine the policy or procedure

call the tune
  1. :  to call the shots

call time
  1. :  to ask for or grant a time-out

call to account
  1. :  to hold responsible :  reprimand

call upon
  1. 1 :  require, oblige <may be called upon to do several jobs>

  2. 2 :  to make a demand on :  depend on <universities are called upon to produce trained professionals>

Examples of call in a sentence

  1. He called to passersby for help.

  2. She called up to her husband, who was at the top of the stairs.

  3. Her husband called back down to her.

  4. She saw her friends across the street and called over to them.

  5. He called her name in his sleep.

  6. The birds were calling as the sun rose.

  7. I call once a week to talk to my parents.

  8. Where are you calling from?

  9. May I say who's calling?

  10. I try to call my parents at least once a week.

Origin of call

Middle English, from Old Norse kalla; akin to Old English hildecalla battle herald, Old High German kallōn to talk loudly, Old Church Slavic glasŭ voice

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of call

summon, call, cite, convoke, convene, muster mean to demand the presence of. summon implies the exercise of authority <was summoned to answer charges>. call may be used less formally for summon <called the legislature into special session>. cite implies a summoning to court usually to answer a charge <cited for drunken driving>. convoke implies a summons to assemble for deliberative or legislative purposes <convoked a Vatican council>. convene is somewhat less formal than convoke <convened the students>. muster suggests a calling up of a number of things that form a group in order that they may be exhibited, displayed, or utilized as a whole <mustered the troops>.




Simple Definition of call

  • : an act of using the telephone : an act of calling someone on the telephone

  • : an act of calling with the voice : a loud cry or shout

  • : the sound made by an animal or bird

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of call

  1. 1 a :  an act of calling with the voice :  shout b :  an imitation of the cry of a bird or other animal made to attract it c :  an instrument used for calling <a duck call> d :  the cry of an animal (as a bird)

  2. 2 a :  a request or command to come or assemble b :  a summons or signal on a drum, bugle, or pipe c :  admission to the bar as a barrister d :  an invitation to become the minister of a church or to accept a professional appointment e :  a divine vocation or strong inner prompting to a particular course of action f :  a summoning of actors to rehearsal <the call is for 11 o'clock> g :  the attraction or appeal of a particular activity, condition, or place <the call of the wild> h :  an order specifying the number of men to be inducted into the armed services during a specified period i :  the selection of a play in football

  3. 3 a :  demand, claim b :  need, justification <there's no call for such behavior> c :  a demand for payment of money d :  an option to buy a specified amount of a security (as stock) or commodity (as wheat) at a fixed price at or within a specified time — compare put 2 e :  an instance of asking for something :  request <many calls for Christmas stories>

  4. 4 :  roll call

  5. 5 :  a short usually formal visit

  6. 6 :  the name or thing called <the call was heads>

  7. 7 :  the act of calling in a card game

  8. 8 :  the act of calling on the telephone

  9. 9 :  a direction or a succession of directions for a square dance rhythmically called to the dancers

  10. 10 :  a decision or ruling made by an official of a sports contest; also :  decision 1 <a tough call to make>

  11. 11 :  a temporary transfer of control of computer processing to a particular set of instructions (as a subroutine or procedure)

at call or on call
  1. 1 a :  available for use :  at the service of <thousands of men at his call> b :  ready to respond to a summons or command <a doctor on call>

  2. 2 :  subject to demand for payment or return without previous notice <money lent at call>

within call
  1. :  within hearing or reach of a summons :  subject to summons

Examples of call in a sentence

  1. A local call costs less than a long-distance or an international call.

  2. If there are any calls for me during the meeting, say that I'll call back later.

  3. I got a call from my brother last night.

  4. He gave a call to passersby for help.

  5. We heard a bird that had a very loud and unusual call.

  6. He's an expert at doing bird calls.

  7. He has a large collection of duck calls.

  8. the call of a trumpet

  9. The government has issued a call to its supporters to defend it and hopes they will answer its call.

  10. The campaigners renewed their calls for reform.

14th Century

First Known Use of call

14th century

CALL Defined for Kids



verb \ˈkȯl\

Definition of call for Students


  1. 1 :  to speak in a loud clear voice so as to be heard at a distance :  shout <I called for help.>

  2. 2 :  to announce or read (something) loudly <He called the roll.>

  3. 3 :  to tell, order, or ask to come <Please call everyone to dinner.>

  4. 4 :  to give the order for <call a meeting>

  5. 5 :  to utter a cry <birds calling>

  6. 6 :  to get in touch with by telephone <He calls home every day.>

  7. 7 :  to make a short visit <She called at a neighbor's house.>

  8. 8 :  2name 1 <I called the cat “Patches.”>

  9. 9 :  to address someone or something as <What did you call me?>

  10. 10 :  to regard as being of a certain kind <Would you call that generous?>

  11. 11 :  to say or guess what the result will be <The election is too close to call.>

  12. 12 :  to estimate as being <Let's call it an even dollar.>

  13. 13 :  suspend 4, end <The game was called on account of rain.>

call for
  1. 1 :  to require as necessary or suitable <We'll do whatever is called for.>

  2. 2 :  to make a request or demand <The newspaper called for an investigation.>

call off
  1. 1 :  cancel 2 <The party was called off.>

  2. 2 :  to cause or tell to stop attacking or chasing <Call off your dog.>

call on
  1. 1 :  to choose to answer <The teacher called on me first.>

  2. 2 visit <call on a friend>

call out
  1. 1 :  to speak in a loud voice <Nokomis snored and often talked in her sleep, calling out to people from long ago. — Louise Erdrich, The Birchbark House>

  2. 2 :  to announce or read (something) loudly <call out a number>

  3. 3 :  to order (a group of people) to come or go somewhere <call out the troops>

call to mind
  1. :  to cause to be thought of or remembered




Definition of call for Students

  1. 1 :  a loud shout or cry

  2. 2 :  a cry of an animal

  3. 3 :  a loud sound or signal <a bugle call>

  4. 4 :  a public request or command <The group renewed their calls for change.>

  5. 5 :  1request 1 <The library gets many calls for mystery books.>

  6. 6 :  a short visit

  7. 7 :  something called or announced <That was the last call for passengers to board.>

  8. 8 :  the act of calling on the telephone

  9. 9 :  decision 1 <It was a tough call to make.>

  10. 10 :  the attraction or appeal of a particular place or condition <call of the wild>

Law Dictionary



transitive verb

Legal Definition of call

  1. 1 :  to announce or recite loudly <called the civil trial list>

  2. 2 :  to admit (a person) as a barrister <was called to the bar>

  3. 3 :  to demand payment of especially by formal notice <call a loan>

  4. 4 :  to demand presentation of (as a bond or option) for redemption

Additional Notes on call

A security issuer may call a security only if calling it is previously provided for, as, for example, in the indenture for a bond or in the stock agreement for preferred stock. The issuer usually pays the holder a premium for a called security.




Legal Definition of call

  1. 1 :  a demand for payment of money: as a :  a notice by the U.S. Treasury to depositories to transfer part of its deposit balance to the Federal Reserve bank b :  a notice to a stockholder or subscriber to pay an assessment or an installment of subscription to capital

  2. 2 :  call option at option 3

  3. 3a :  a formal announcement or recitation <the daily call of the motion calendar> b :  roll call <the speaker ordered a call of the house>

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