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butt-di·​al ˈbət-ˌdī(-ə)l How to pronounce butt-dial (audio)
variants or less commonly butt dial
butt-dialed also butt dialed; butt-dialing also butt dialing; butt-dials also butt dials

transitive verb

: to place an unintended call to (someone) from a mobile phone (as by sitting on a phone placed in a back pocket) when the phone is not in use
Responding to a complaint about illegal fishing, a game warden tried to call one of the suspects but the suspect hung up and then butt-dialed the game warden back. "Maybe the game warden didn't see," one of them said to the other as the warden listened in.Christopher Collins
Cops in Staffordshire, England easily nabbed two burglars on Jan. 6 after one of the suspects mistakenly butt-dialed the emergency number 999 during an alleged break-in.Toronto (Canada) Sun


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variants or less commonly butt dial
plural butt-dials also butt dials
: a call placed from a mobile phone by butt-dialing : an accidental mobile phone call
The drunk text is familiar now. It needs no more explanation than a butt-dial or an autocorrect typo or cellphones in general.Kaitlyn Tiffany
Finally, I received a message from someone who clearly did not know they were making a call. Perhaps it was a butt dial.Steve Pokin

Examples of butt-dial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Jimmy butt-dialed Chelsea, and got caught in his own lie. Sam Reed, Glamour, 19 Mar. 2024 Had the head of Universal accidentally butt-dialed him? Jen Yamato, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'butt-dial.' 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


circa 2005, in the meaning defined above


2008, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of butt-dial was circa 2005

Dictionary Entries Near butt-dial

Cite this Entry

“Butt-dial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/butt-dial. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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