1 of 2


: allowing listeners to engage in broadcast telephone conversations with the host or a guest
a call-in show

call in

2 of 2


called in; calling in; calls in

transitive verb

: to order to return or to be returned: such as
: to withdraw from an advanced position
call in the outposts
: to withdraw from circulation
call in bank notes and issue new ones
: to summon to one's aid or for consultation
call in a mediator
: to deliver (a message) by telephone
call in an order for pizza

intransitive verb

: to communicate with a person by telephone


call in sick
: to report by telephone that one will be absent because of illness

Keep scrolling for more

Example Sentences

There are few bigger deals in comic book culture than his answering a Bat-signal’s call in the 21st century. David Betancourt, Washington Post, 3 Aug. 2022 Out of the blue, Ben gets a call in the middle of the night that his girlfriend Abilene Shaw (Lio Tipton) has died. Alexis Potter, The Arizona Republic, 27 July 2022 With his initial foray into NHL drafting, Habs GM Kent Hughes made a bold call in passing up a 200-foot center, one that’ll be discussed for generations. Matt Porter,, 9 July 2022 The company derives less than 1% of its total sales from Russia and Ukraine, the company's CFO told an earning call in March. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 23 June 2022 Maria Contreras received a call in July 2020 that would change her life. Stephanie Emma Pfeffer,, 16 June 2022 The county commission will consider an intergovernmental agreement with cities next month and anticipates issuing a call in August for the November referendum, Hendrickson said. Alia Malik, ajc, 10 June 2022 Just this weekend, officers responded at about 10:01 p.m. Saturday to a shots fired call in the area of 10 Middleton Street in Mattapan and made an on-site firearm arrest of a 15-year-old juvenile of Dorchester and a 14-year-old of Boston. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 23 May 2022 An online dispatch log indicates officers responded to a shots fired call in the area at about 12:45 a.m. Arkansas Democrat-gazette, Arkansas Online, 21 May 2022 See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Word History

First Known Use


1952, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of call-in was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near call-in

Cite this Entry

“Call-in.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

Legal Definition

call in

transitive verb
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.