answering machine


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

Example Sentences

I haven't spoken to him yet, but he left a message on my answering machine.
Recent Examples on the Web Both the Pro and Pro 2 improve upon the Wired with dual-band Wi-Fi and Quick Replies, which essentially acts as an answering machine for your door. PCMAG, 25 Nov. 2022 The game uses chat windows, answering machine messages, and emails to advance a simple, straightforward plot that has near-zero fat. Matt Gardner, Forbes, 11 Aug. 2022 Well, technically their answering machine, as the aliens themselves have gone to Alpha Centauri for the summer. Elliott Kalan, Discover Magazine, 11 Jan. 2011 Not long afterward, my boyfriend and I were awakened in the middle of the night by that distinctive monotone drawling on the answering machine, agreeing to do the project. Molly Ringwald, The New Yorker, 12 Dec. 2022 Hours before her killing, the friend said, Patrice had left angry voicemails on his answering machine, threatening to expose the tryst. John H. Tucker, Popular Mechanics, 10 Nov. 2022 His caution was born from experience: not long after the CCS launched, the service received a tip from a police department that officers had tapped the phone line at the church, though this was not the same line to answering machine. Becca Andrews, The New Republic, 3 Oct. 2022 In the beginning, the answering machine would explain how to contact the two clergy on call for an in-person appointment. Becca Andrews, The New Republic, 3 Oct. 2022 And … the answering machine had actually been unplugged … so those messages were not there. CBS News, 24 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'answering machine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 4 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

answering machine

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