call

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

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 get or try to get into communication by telephone just called to say hello often used with up
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 outcall 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 get or try to get in communication with by telephone call the doctor to make an appointment
(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

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
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 calling on the telephone made a call to the mayor
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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for call

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Although Texas Republicans kept their distance from Trump’s suggestion, Democrats were keen to call attention to it and put opponents on the spot. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Ted Cruz rejects Trump idea to delay the election, as Democrats see brewing autocracy," 30 July 2020 All lawmakers generally wear masks in the hearing rooms because they are required, and Democrats who run the panels will not call on members not wearing them. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Democrats attack GOP lawmakers over coronavirus safety but get the facts wrong," 29 July 2020 Many leaders have used their diagnoses to call on the public to heighten precautions like social distancing and mask wearing. Author: Michael Weissenstein And David Biller, Anchorage Daily News, "COVID hits dozens of Latin leaders, including presidents," 11 July 2020 Many leaders have used their diagnoses to call on the public to heighten precautions like social distancing and mask wearing. BostonGlobe.com, "Trump threatens to pull tax exemption for schools, colleges," 10 July 2020 Colectivo was one of more than 70 businesses to call on Milwaukee officials to require masks in all restaurants, bars and other businesses visited by the public. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Shorewood is requiring face masks inside buildings open to the public, the first Milwaukee area community to pass this mandate," 10 July 2020 In a competitive year, Hanks didn’t secure an Oscar nomination, perhaps because his workmanlike effort refused to call too much attention to itself in Howard’s earnest ensemble adventure. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "Tom Hanks turns 64 today; Here are his 10 best movies," 9 July 2020 That was the case even in meeting rooms where safeties coach ShaDon Brown would call on Yeast to answer a lot of questions. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, ""I think I'll be better off": Russ Yeast ready for comeback after season-ending injury," 8 July 2020 San Francisco is taking a stand against individuals who wrongfully call the police on Black people. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "CAREN Act Could Make Racist 911 Calls A Crime," 8 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The officers had made a call for emergency medical services for Morris before he was arrested, Tapley said. Washington Post, "‘If you can talk, you can breathe,’ Arkansas cop tells man who later dies in police custody," 30 July 2020 Akiva Nachshon, a senior physician in the intensive care unit at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Israel, made a call to SodaStream on a whim. Beth Kowitt, Fortune, "Can a seltzer-making company build a better device to help COVID patients breathe? SodaStream thinks so," 29 July 2020 Before Alvarado died, her mother, Norma, got a phone call from Simpson, telling her that her daughter’s organs were failing. Lauren Caruba, ExpressNews.com, "‘We’re all fearful of what could happen’: COVID deaths rise in San Antonio as hospitals are pushed to capacity," 12 July 2020 One day after the surgery, the suit says, Shannon got a phone call from Rafael Navar, the campaign's state director, who said she had been demoted. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Former Bernie Sanders campaign staffer says in lawsuit she was demoted after cancer treatment," 11 July 2020 The Ivy League made the call to cancel all sports for the fall semester due to the coronavirus pandemic. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "For college football, the stakes are too high to ignore," 9 July 2020 However, in January 2019, Mercado got a call about a fan who wanted to meet him: Lin-Manuel Miranda. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, "If Netflix’s Mucho, Mucho Amor Is The First You’ve Heard Of Walter Mercado, Let Us Catch You Up," 9 July 2020 Fleming made a call and before long, Del flew over to Xavier for a visit. Adam Baum, The Enquirer, "'He's not going to be forgotten': Remembering Xavier soccer player Derrick 'Del' Otim," 8 July 2020 In June, Nova got the call to head to Comerica Park. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers' Ivan Nova on quick return to MLB action: 'Never hold anything back'," 8 July 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of call

Verb

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

Noun

13th 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about call

Time Traveler for call

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for call

Last Updated

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Call.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/call. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for call

call

verb
How to pronounce call (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of call

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to speak in a loud voice
: to announce or read (something) in a loud voice
of a bird or animal : to make the sound that is usual for a particular type of bird or animal

call

noun

English Language Learners Definition of call (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of using the telephone : an act of calling someone on the telephone
: an act of calling with the voice : a loud cry or shout
: the sound made by an animal or bird

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 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

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on call

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for call

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with call

Spanish Central: Translation of call

Nglish: Translation of call for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of call for Arabic Speakers

Comments on call

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!