answering machine


: a machine that receives telephone calls by playing a recorded message and usually by recording messages from callers

Examples of answering machine in a Sentence

I haven't spoken to him yet, but he left a message on my answering machine.
Recent Examples on the Web Its characters talk on big clunky phones and discuss the Seattle SuperSonics; a major plot point involves an answering machine eating a cassette tape. Sam Anderson, New York Times, 16 Apr. 2024 For anyone old enough to have owned an answering machine, this is a delightful throwback. Heather Kelly, Washington Post, 25 Sep. 2023 Have caller ID enabled and get an answering machine or configure your phone service's answering machine feature in order to screen calls. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 8 Feb. 2023 Wordless messages were left on my answering machine, but those ended after a few days. Hiromi Kawakami, The New Yorker, 3 July 2023 When The Times reached out Thursday morning to the small business in Bend, Ore., an out-of-breath employee picked up the phone after the call went to the answering machine and apologized for the wait. Christi Carrasstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 16 Feb. 2023 Google Pixel phones have already done something akin to the answering machine trick for years, for instance, and even the computer keyboard was just a sensible evolution of the typewriter. Wes Davis, The Verge, 13 June 2023 Sponsor is not obligated to leave voice mail, answering machine or other messages. Travel Staff, Washington Post, 24 June 2022 Her parents weren’t home, so Kristin left a voicemail on their answering machine. Dateline Nbc, NBC News, 4 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'answering machine.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1924, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of answering machine was in 1924

Dictionary Entries Near answering machine

Cite this Entry

“Answering machine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

answering machine

: a machine that receives telephone calls by recording messages from callers
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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