call

verb
\ ˈkȯl How to pronounce call (audio) \
called; calling; calls

Essential Meaning of call

1 : to speak in a loud voice He called to passersby for help. She called up to her husband, who was at the top of the stairs. See More ExamplesHer husband called back down to her. She saw her friends across the street and called over/across to them. He called her name in his sleep.Hide
2 : to announce or read (something) in a loud voice call the roll call (off) a row of figures They're calling [=announcing] our flight: it's boarding at gate 57.
3 of a bird or animal : to make the sound that is usual for a particular type of bird or animal The birds were calling as the sun rose.

Full Definition of call

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to speak in a loud distinct voice so as to be heard at a distance : shout call for help
b : to make a request or demand call for an investigation
c of an animal : to utter a characteristic note or cry
d : to speak to or attempt to reach someone by means of a call (see call entry 2 sense 8) just called to say hello I call once a week to talk to my parents. Several weeks later our son's family called to FaceTime with us.Daily Reporter (Greenfield, IN) often used with up She called up and asked if we wanted to come over for dinner.
e : to make a demand in card games (as for a particular card or for a show of hands)
f : to give the calls for a square dance
2 : to make a brief visit called to pay his respects called on a friend

transitive verb

1a(1) : to utter in a loud distinct voice often used with out call out a number
(2) : to announce or read loudly or authoritatively call the roll call off a row of figures
(3) : to announce the play-by-play of (a sports event, such as a football game)
b(1) : to command or request to come or be present was called to testify
(2) : to cause to come : bring calls to mind an old saying
c : to summon to a particular activity, employment, or office was called to active duty was called to the bar of justice
d : to invite or command to meet : convoke call a meeting
e : to rouse from sleep or summon to get up
f(1) : to give the order for : bring into action call a strike against the company call a pitchout
(2) : to manage by giving the signals or orders that catcher calls a good game
g(1) : to make a demand in bridge for (a card or suit)
(2) : to require (a player) to show the hand in poker by making an equal bet
(3) : to challenge to make good on a statement
(4) : to charge with or censure for an offense deserves to be called on that
h : to attract (game) by imitating the characteristic cry
i : to halt (something, such as a baseball game) because of unsuitable conditions
j : to rule on the status of (a pitched ball, a player's action, etc.) call balls and strikes call a base runner safe
k : to give the calls for (a square dance) often used with off
l(1) : to demand payment of especially by formal notice call a loan
(2) : to demand presentation of (something, such as a bond or option) for redemption The bonds could be called 10 years after issue.
m(1) : to speak to or attempt to reach (someone) by means of a call (see call entry 2 sense 8) call the doctor to make an appointment I try to call my parents at least once a week. He arranged for his wife, Stacey, to call him via Skype online from Kylee's fourth-grade classroom on Monday morning—a complete surprise to his daughter.— Elaine Allenemrich often used with up Call me up when you get back from your vacation.
(2) : to generate signals for (a telephone number) in order to reach the party to whom the number is assigned call 911
(3) : to make a signal to in order to transmit a message call the flagship
2a : to speak of or address by a specified name : give a name to call her Kitty
b(1) : to regard or characterize as of a certain kind : consider can hardly be called generous
(2) : to estimate or consider for purposes of an estimate or for convenience call it an even dollar
c(1) : to describe correctly in advance of or without knowledge of the event : predict He called the upward trend of the stock market in February.
(2) : to name or specify in advance call the toss of a coin
3 : to temporarily transfer control of computer processing to (something, such as a subroutine or procedure)
call a spade a spade
1 : to call a thing by its right name however coarse
2 : to speak frankly Why don't you just call a spade a spade and say that he is a liar?
call for
1 : to call (as at one's house) to get I'll call for you after dinner
2 : to require as necessary or appropriate the job calls for typing skills the design calls for three windows
call forth
: elicit, evoke these events call forth great emotions
call in question or call into question
: to cast doubt upon a report calling into question the drug's effectiveness
call it a day
: to stop for the remainder of the day or for the present whatever one has been doing worked another couple of hours and then called it a day
call it quits
: to call it a day : quit
call names
: to address or speak of a person or thing contemptuously or offensively
call on
1 : to call upon Is there anyone you can call on in an emergency?
2 : to elicit a response from (someone, such as a student) the teacher called on her first
3 US, informal : to directly criticize (someone) for (something, such as bad behavior) … offering ample ammunition to anyone wanting to call her on her fascination with all things violent and degrading.— Michael Upchurch
call one's bluff
: to challenge in order to expose an empty pretense or threat I called his bluff just to see if he really meant what he said.— Brandy Rankins
call the shots
: to be in charge or control : determine the policy or procedure The secretary called the shots all through the meeting.
call the tune
: to call the shots
call time
: to ask for or grant a time-out
call to account
: to hold responsible : reprimand He was called to account by his boss for making the error.
call upon
1 : require, oblige may be called upon to do several jobs
2 : to make a demand on : depend on universities are called upon to produce trained professionals

call

noun
plural calls

Definition of call (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an act of calling with the voice : shout a call for help
b : an imitation of the cry of a bird or other animal made to attract it
c : an instrument used for calling a duck call
d : the cry of an animal (such as a bird)
2a : a request or command to come or assemble
b : a summons or signal on a drum, bugle, or pipe
c : admission to the bar as a barrister
d : an invitation to become the minister of a church or to accept a professional appointment
e : a divine vocation or strong inner prompting to a particular course of action
f : a summoning of actors to rehearsal the call is for 11 o'clock
g : the attraction or appeal of a particular activity, condition, or place the call of the wild
h : an order specifying the number of men to be inducted into the armed services during a specified period
i : the selection of a play in football the quarterback's call in the huddle
3a : demand, claim The aircraft industry continues to have first call on aluminum production.Americana Annual
b : need, justification there's no call for such behavior
c : a demand for payment of money
d : an option to buy a specified amount of a security (such as stock) or commodity (such as wheat) at a fixed price at or within a specified time — compare put sense 2
e : an instance of asking for something : request many calls for Christmas stories
4 : roll call
5 : a short usually formal visit pay a call on a neighbor
6 : the name or thing called the call was heads
7 : the act of calling in a card game
8 : the act of speaking to or attempting to reach someone by telephone or by a similar online communication service a telephone call a video call made a call to the mayor In a time before keeping in touch was an internet call away, I'd have to say goodbye forever to bedrooms, to classrooms, to friends.— Soniah Kamal Soon after news of Bazemore's return broke, Curry shared a screenshot on Instagram of the two friends on a FaceTime call. Both were smiling, no longer thinking of what-ifs.— Wes Goldberg
9 : a direction or a succession of directions for a square dance rhythmically called to the dancers
10 : a decision or ruling made by an official of a sports contest also : decision sense 1 a tough call to make
11 : a temporary transfer of control of computer processing to a particular set of instructions (such as a subroutine or procedure)
at call or on call
1a : available for use : at the service of thousands of men at his call
b : ready to respond to a summons or command a doctor on call
2 : subject to demand for payment or return without previous notice money lent at call
within call
: within hearing or reach of a summons : subject to summons

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Synonyms for call

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for call

Verb

summon, call, cite, convoke, convene, muster mean to demand the presence of. summon implies the exercise of authority. was summoned to answer charges call may be used less formally for summon. called the legislature into special session cite implies a summoning to court usually to answer a charge. cited for drunken driving convoke implies a summons to assemble for deliberative or legislative purposes. convoked a Vatican council convene is somewhat less formal than convoke. convened the students muster suggests a calling up of a number of things that form a group in order that they may be exhibited, displayed, or utilized as a whole. mustered the troops

Examples of call in a Sentence

Verb He called to passersby for help. She called up to her husband, who was at the top of the stairs. Her husband called back down to her. She saw her friends across the street and called over to them. He called her name in his sleep. The birds were calling as the sun rose. I call once a week to talk to my parents. Where are you calling from? May I say who's calling? I try to call my parents at least once a week. Noun A local call costs less than a long-distance or an international call. If there are any calls for me during the meeting, say that I'll call back later. I got a call from my brother last night. He gave a call to passersby for help. We heard a bird that had a very loud and unusual call. He's an expert at doing bird calls. He has a large collection of duck calls. the call of a trumpet The government has issued a call to its supporters to defend it and hopes they will answer its call. The campaigners renewed their calls for reform.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Anyone feeling ill from the odors should leave their residence or business immediately, get to fresh air and call 911. Emma Stein, Detroit Free Press, 6 Sep. 2021 Beshear had sole authority to call a special session and set the agenda. Bruce Schreiner, ajc, 4 Sep. 2021 The regular legislative session ended in May, and only Abbott has the power to call a special session and to decide what issues lawmakers will address during that window. NBC News, 3 Sep. 2021 Webb couldn't share patient specifics, but said the center has had to tell some people to either call 911 or go in for an evaluation at a hospital. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, 1 Sep. 2021 The governor has the authority to call lawmakers into special session and to set the agenda. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 1 Sep. 2021 The on-demand feature allows riders to call or use the GoPass app to schedule a trip rather than wait at a bus stop. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, 31 Aug. 2021 Donziger did not call a single witness and elected not to testify in his own defense. Michael I. Krauss, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 Koramoah’s emergence has led some teams to call and inquire about trading for current starting weakside linebacker Mack Wilson, according to Albert Breer of The Monday Morning Quarterback. cleveland, 31 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Red Sox who took the field Tuesday night against the Rays looked a little more like what the lineup of a playoff contender is supposed to look like and a little less like one filled with September call-ups on a non-contending team. BostonGlobe.com, 7 Sep. 2021 Clark Harvey said call centers have already seen a 67% increase in volume in recent years, and the pandemic has only intensified the pressure. Jocelyn Wiener, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Sep. 2021 Two days after his behavior in a benches-clearing brawl in Triple-A Reno went viral, outfielder Henry Ramos was summoned to the majors by the Diamondbacks on Sunday, his first call-up to the big leagues in his 11-year professional career. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 6 Sep. 2021 But a phone call Tammy received on August 17, 1996 would shatter their lives forever. NBC News, 5 Sep. 2021 Altogether, at least 1,200 workers from all over the country helped prosecute the storm and calm the fears of customers, who phoned into call service centers around the Southeast — to the tune of 200,000 in one day alone. Ken Silverstein, Forbes, 5 Sep. 2021 Starting Tuesday, the parents or guardians of close contacts will be notified via phone call, but students will be allowed to remain in school unless symptoms develop. Carole Carlson, chicagotribune.com, 3 Sep. 2021 A year ago, with concert halls and opera houses shut and most professional singers reduced to performing for their pets, baritone Will Liverman received a life-changing phone call. Justin Davidson, Vulture, 3 Sep. 2021 State officials opened a similar call center last year but ended the program after the number of cases and hospitalizations declined. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 3 Sep. 2021

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

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First Known Use of call

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for call

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old Norse kalla; akin to Old English hildecalla battle herald, Old High German kallōn to talk loudly, Old Church Slavonic glasŭ voice

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Time Traveler for call

Time Traveler

The first known use of call was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near call

calking roll

call

callable

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Statistics for call

Last Updated

9 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Call.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/call. Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for call

call

verb
\ ˈkȯl How to pronounce call (audio) \
called; calling

Kids Definition of call

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to speak in a loud clear voice so as to be heard at a distance : shout I called for help.
2 : to announce or read (something) loudly He called the roll.
3 : to tell, order, or ask to come Please call everyone to dinner.
4 : to give the order for call a meeting
5 : to utter a cry birds calling
6 : to get in touch with by telephone He calls home every day.
7 : to make a short visit She called at a neighbor's house.
8 : name entry 2 sense 1 I called the cat "Patches."
9 : to address someone or something as What did you call me?
10 : to regard as being of a certain kind Would you call that generous?
11 : to say or guess what the result will be The election is too close to call.
12 : to estimate as being Let's call it an even dollar.
13 : suspend sense 4, end The game was called on account of rain.
call for
1 : to require as necessary or suitable We'll do whatever is called for.
2 : to make a request or demand The newspaper called for an investigation.
call off
1 : cancel sense 2 The party was called off.
2 : to cause or tell to stop attacking or chasing Call off your dog.
call on
1 : to choose to answer The teacher called on me first.
2 : visit entry 1 sense 1 call on a friend
call out
1 : to speak in a loud voice Nokomis snored and often talked in her sleep, calling out to people from long ago.— Louise Erdrich, The Birchbark House
2 : to announce or read (something) loudly call out a number
3 : to order (a group of people) to come or go somewhere call out the troops
call to mind
: to cause to be thought of or remembered

call

noun

Kids Definition of call (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a loud shout or cry
2 : a cry of an animal
3 : a loud sound or signal a bugle call
4 : a public request or command The group renewed their calls for change.
5 : request entry 1 sense 1 The library gets many calls for mystery books.
6 : a short visit
7 : something called or announced That was the last call for passengers to board.
8 : the act of calling on the telephone
9 : decision sense 1 It was a tough call to make.
10 : the attraction or appeal of a particular place or condition call of the wild

call

transitive verb

Legal Definition of call

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to announce or recite loudly called the civil trial list
2 : to admit (a person) as a barrister was called to the bar
3 : to demand payment of especially by formal notice call a loan
4 : to demand presentation of (as a bond or option) for redemption

Note: A security issuer may call a security only if calling it is previously provided for, as, for example, in the indenture for a bond or in the stock agreement for preferred stock. The issuer usually pays the holder a premium for a called security.

call

noun

Legal Definition of call (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a demand for payment of money: as
a : a notice by the U.S. Treasury to depositories to transfer part of its deposit balance to the Federal Reserve bank
b : a notice to a stockholder or subscriber to pay an assessment or an installment of subscription to capital
2 : call option at option 3
3a : a formal announcement or recitation the daily call of the motion calendar
b : roll call the speaker ordered a call of the house

More from Merriam-Webster on call

Nglish: Translation of call for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of call for Arabic Speakers

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