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call on

Definition of call on

  1. 1 :  to ask (someone or something) to do something :  to say that someone or something should do something <The opposition has called on the governor to resign.>

  2. 2 :  to ask for help from (someone) <Is there anyone you can call on in an emergency?>

  3. 3 :  to use (something, such as a talent or skill) <She had to call on all her reserves of strength and skill to meet the challenge.>

  4. 4 :  to ask for a response from (someone, such as a student) <I was hoping the teacher wouldn't call on me, because I didn't know the answer.>

  5. 5 :  to make a brief visit to (someone) <I'm planning to call on an old friend after I leave here.>

  6. 6 US informal :  to directly criticize (someone) for (something, such as bad behavior) <He's incredibly rude, but no one ever calls him on it.>

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  to speak in a loud distinct voice so as to be heard at a distance :  shout

    :  to make a request or demand

    :  to utter a characteristic note or cry

  1. :  an act of calling with the voice :  shout

    :  an imitation of the cry of a bird or other animal made to attract it

    :  an instrument used for calling

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up call on? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to proceed clumsily or ineffectually

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