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 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

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 Or better yet, why not conflate billionaire business mogul with entertainer and call someone actually worth giving a platform to (read: someone check Steven Yeun's schedule). Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "SNL Shouldn’t Be A Playground for Billionaires Like Elon Musk," 27 Apr. 2021 For more information or to provide feedback, look at the website, ImprovePlainfieldRoad.org, sign up for the newsletter about the project, or call 708-320-1485 by May 5. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Some Western Springs and Indian Head Park residents oppose possible widening of Plainfield Road to five lanes," 27 Apr. 2021 General manager Terry Fontenot noted, if teams call the Falcons must listen. Matt Goul, cleveland, "Justin Fields, Philadelphia Eagles are ‘wild cards:’ NFL Draft 2021 rumors and reports," 27 Apr. 2021 Biden may call for increasing the top capital gains tax to 39.6 percent, plus the surtax, sources told NBC News. NBC News, "How high should Biden raise the capital gains tax? It's complicated, experts say," 26 Apr. 2021 Investigators asked anyone with information on the suspects to call 1-800-597-TIPS(8477) or report the information online at the GBI tipline. Fox News, "Georgia authorities search for 5 murder suspects after mother found dead," 26 Apr. 2021 That’s 3,999,944 new Texans — more people than call the 23 smallest states home, or who live Dallas, San Antonio and Austin combined. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Census finds 4 million new Texans, enough for 2 extra U.S. House seats, though we expected more," 26 Apr. 2021 To request vaccination, email HomeboundVaccine@em.myflorida.com or call 1-866-779-6121. John Cutter, orlandosentinel.com, "COVID-19 vaccine sites across Central Florida: Here’s where to get the shots," 26 Apr. 2021 And after that unexpected offseason call from Harsin, Etheridge hopes to help bring his alma mater back to that level. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, "Returning to Auburn as coach after winning it all as player ‘fulfilling’ for Zac Etheridge," 26 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Pro golfer’s emotional call to his dad… And more. – Joe Horn and two other former NFL players will see their sons get drafted this week. Andy Nesbitt, USA TODAY, "Julius Erving's snub of LeBron James on his all-time list is so lame," 28 Apr. 2021 His stake in Azul, once worth $290 million, is down to $85 million after he was forced to sell most of his preferred shares due to a margin call on a personal loan. Jeremy Bogaisky, Forbes, "JetBlue’s Founder Thinks You Need A Vacation – And He’s Launching A New Airline To Get You There," 28 Apr. 2021 Over the last week, 17 Democratic senators and 83 House members have joined a call to include a Medicare expansion. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "On Biden’s American Families Plan and Resisting the Conservative Politics of Care," 28 Apr. 2021 China, on the other hand, can't even get a call back. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "China offered Covid aid to India while US dragged its feet, but Delhi isn't that keen," 28 Apr. 2021 According to documents that Phoenix police filed in court, emergency crews responded to a 911 call about 7 p.m. Monday that a baby was found not breathing. Jamie Landers, The Arizona Republic, "Mother arrested after 9-month-old overdoses on fentanyl pills, survives," 28 Apr. 2021 In his view, though, Apollo 11 had fulfilled President John F. Kennedy’s call to send a man to the moon and back before the end of the 1960s. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins Dies at 90," 28 Apr. 2021 Clark’s attorney did not return a call to his office seeking comment. Washington Post, "Use of force by D.C. police is decreasing, but report also cites improper neck restraints," 28 Apr. 2021 But Ana Gonzalez, who recorded the line of trucks idling outside an Amazon shipping center last week, doesn't expect local advocates' call for accountability to be answered easily. NBC News, "'Treated like sacrifices': Families breathe toxic fumes from California's warehouse hub," 27 Apr. 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.

See More

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

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

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Call.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/call. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for call

call

verb

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

More from Merriam-Webster on call

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

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!