Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

dial

play
noun di·al \ˈdī(-ə)l\

Definition of dial

  1. 1 :  the face of a sundial

  2. 2 obsolete :  timepiece

  3. 3 :  the graduated face of a timepiece

  4. 4 a :  a face upon which some measurement is registered usually by means of graduations and a pointer <the thermometer dial reads 70°F> b :  a device that may be operated to make electrical connections or to regulate the operation of a machine <a radio dial> <a telephone dial>



Examples of dial

  1. the dial of a pressure gauge

  2. I had to keep adjusting the radio dial to make the station come in clearly.



Origin of dial

Middle English dyal, from Medieval Latin dialis clock wheel revolving daily, from Latin dies day — more at deity


First Known Use: 15th century


2

dial

verb di·al

Simple Definition of dial

  • : to select (a series of numbers) on a telephone by turning a dial or pushing buttons

  • : to make a telephone call to (a person, business, etc.)

Full Definition of dial

di·aled or di·alleddi·al·ing or di·al·ling

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to measure with a dial

  3. 2 a :  to manipulate a device (as a dial) so as to operate, regulate, or select <dial your favorite program> <dialed the wrong number> b :  call 1m(1) <dialed the office>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. 1 :  to manipulate a dial

  6. 2 :  to make a telephone call or connection

di·al·er noun

Examples of dial

  1. I'm sorry. I must have dialed the wrong number.

  2. <dialed 911 and asked for the police>



1653

First Known Use of dial

1653

Rhymes with dial


3

dial

abbreviation di·al

Definition of dial






Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

196.5 pounds 2.2 pounds 16.96 pounds 100 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ