call

verb
\ ˈkȯl How to pronounce call (audio) \

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 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 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
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
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 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

bawl, bay, bellow, cry, holler, hollo (or halloo), roar, shout, sound off, thunder, vociferate, yell

Synonyms: Noun

cry, note

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

Jason Ervin called Smith’s appointment illegitimate, arguing her selection was the product of a secretive process. Juan Perez Jr., chicagotribune.com, "Chicago alderman, religious leaders want Cook County judicial nomination reversed," 15 June 2019 For more information, go to www.stcmuseum.org/events or call the museum at 630-584-6967. David Sharos, Aurora Beacon-News, "Museum tells 'amazing' story of St. Charles family that survived the sinking of the Titanic," 15 June 2019 Anyone who is interested in Phoenix can call the shelter at 281-342-1512 and ask to speak with the adoption center. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Graphic: Fort Bend shelter inundated with shocking cases like Phoenix, a lab with chemical burns," 14 June 2019 Binda and Morrone call this time window right before the saccade the confusion period. Tim Vernimmen, Smithsonian, "Our Eyes Are Always Darting Around, So How Come Our Vision Isn’t Blurry?," 14 June 2019 The companies will invest around $10 million each in a consortium that will govern the digital coin, called Libra, according to the Journal. Charles Riley, CNN, "Oil retreats; Business slams tariffs; Facebook goes crypto," 14 June 2019 One of the players on the Penn hockey team called Geist. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "Two brothers, hockey players, dead on same day of opioid overdose," 13 June 2019 In addition to its provisions outlining medical care standards, the bill also calls for CBP to have sufficient drinking water, food, hygiene products and working and clean bathrooms for migrants in its custody. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, "Democrats unveil bill to bolster care of migrants in Border Patrol custody," 12 June 2019 Since the publication of Gray’s Anatomy in 1858 (then called Anatomy: Descriptive and Surgical), students have been taught that the mesentery is composed of several separate structures. Claudia Kalb, National Geographic, "Why Leonardo da Vinci’s brilliance endures, 500 years after his death," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Cook, one of England's most decorated players, is well placed to make such a call. James Masters, CNN, "England vs. New Zealand: World Cup final on national TV offers chance to inspire a generation," 13 July 2019 As reported by Roosevelt Island Online and the Main Street Wire, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) recently announced an open call for artists to design the Bly memorial. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "A Nellie Bly Memorial Is Coming to Roosevelt Island," 13 July 2019 Officers responded to the business at 12:33 a.m. after receiving 911 calls from passerbys reporting a clerk at the store was shot, dispatchers said. Cincinnati.com, "Clerk shot at Hamilton store, 1 in custody," 12 July 2019 The Troy Fire Department’s hazardous materials team responded within minutes of the family’s first phone call about the unwelcome oil gusher in their basement. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Troy homeowners’ horror: 'Dad, something really stinks in the basement'," 12 July 2019 The lineup of speakers for the Dallas event changed over the past two days as some area activists pushed for a stronger message that went beyond calls to close detention centers at the border. Obed Manuel, Dallas News, "Hundreds protest Trump administration’s treatment of migrants at border detention centers," 12 July 2019 Soon after the release of the Lifetime documentary, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said her office had been inundated with calls about the allegations in the documentary. Fortune, "R. Kelly Arrested on Federal Sex Crime Charges Including Producing Child Pornography," 12 July 2019 Soon after the release of the Lifetime documentary, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said her office had been inundated with calls about the allegations in the documentary. CBS News, "R. Kelly indictment unsealed: Singer accused of kidnapping, forced labor and sexually abusing girls," 12 July 2019 During the moonwalk the astronauts even took a call from President Richard Nixon in the White House. Curtis Roelle, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Star Points: On the occasion of its golden anniversary, looking back at the first moon landing," 12 July 2019

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

Statistics for call

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for call

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for call

call

noun

Financial Definition of call

What It Is

A call option gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to purchase an asset at a specified strike price on or before the option's expiration date.

How It Works

Options are derivative instruments, meaning that their prices are derived from the price of another security. More specifically, options prices are derived from the price of an underlying stock. For example, let's say you purchase a call option on shares of Intel (INTC) with a strike price of $40 and an expiration date of April 16th. This option would give you the right to purchase 100 shares of Intel at a price of $40 on April 16th (the right to do this, of course, will only be valuable if Intel is trading above $40 per share at that point in time). Note that the expiration date always fall on the third Friday of the month in which the option is scheduled to expire.

Every option represents a contract between a buyer and seller. The seller (writer) has the obligation to either buy or sell stock (depending on what type of option he or she sold -- either a call option or a put option) to the buyer at a specified price by a specified date. Meanwhile, the buyer of an options contract has the right, but not the obligation, to complete the transaction by a specified date. When an option expires, if it is not in the buyer's best interest to exercise the option, then he or she is not obligated to do anything. The buyer has purchased the option to carry out a certain transaction in the future -- hence the name.

As a quick example of how call options make money, let's say IBM stock is currently trading at $100 per share. Now let's say an investor purchases one call option contract on IBM at a price of $2 per contract. Note: Because each options contract represents an interest in 100 underlying shares of stock, the actual cost of this option will be $200 (100 shares x $2 = $200).

Here's what will happen to the value of this call option under a variety of different scenarios:

When the option expires, IBM is trading at $105

Remember: The call option gives the buyer the right to purchase shares of IBM at $100 per share. In this scenario, the buyer could use the option to purchase those shares at $100, then immediately sell those same shares in the open market for $105. This option is therefore called “in the money.” Because of this, the option will sell for $5.00 on the expiration date (because each option represents an interest in 100 underlying shares, this will amount to a total sale price of $500). Because the investor purchased this option for $200, the net profit to the buyer from this trade will be $300.

When the option expires, IBM is trading at $101

Using the same analysis as shown above, the call option will now be worth $1 (or $100 total). Since the investor spent $200 to purchase the option in the first place, he or she will show a net loss on this trade of $1 (or $100 total). This option would be called “at the money,” because the transaction is essentially a wash.

When the option expires, IBM is trading at or below $100

If IBM ends up at or below $100 on the option's expiration date, then contract will expire “out of the money.” It will now be worthless, so the option buyer will lose 100% of his or her money (in this case, the full $200 that he or she spent for the option).

Why It Matters

Investors use options for two primary reasons--to speculate and to hedge risk. All of us are familiar with the speculation side of investing. Every time you buy a stock you are essentially speculating on the direction the stock will move. You might say that you are positive that IBM is heading higher as you buy the stock, and indeed more often than not you may even be right.

However, if you were absolutely positive that IBM was going to head sharply higher, then you would invest everything you had in the stock. Rational investors realize there is no "sure thing," as every investment incurs at least some risk. This risk is what the investor is compensated for when he or she purchases an asset. When you purchase options to speculate on future stock price movements, you are limiting your downside risk, yet your upside earnings potential is unlimited.

Hedging is like buying insurance--it is protection against unforeseen events, but you hope you never have to use it. Consider why almost everyone buys homeowner's insurance: because the odds of having one’s house destroyed are relatively small, this may seem like a foolish investment.

But our homes are very valuable to us and we would be devastated by their loss. This fear of loss is why most of us happily pay someone else to bear this risk for us, no matter how remote the chances of loss might be. Using options to hedge your portfolio essentially does the same thing.

Source: Investing Answers

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with call

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!