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 For the rest of the aforementioned countries, there’s crossover, because Hispanics can also call themselves Latino, Latina, or Latinx. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "What Is the Difference Between Hispanic, Latino, and Spanish?," 17 Sep. 2020 Enveloping all of those emotions—packaging them into an overwhelming feeling of doom—is climate grief, as psychologists call it, the dread that humans have thoroughly corrupted the planet, and that the planet is now exacting its revenge. Matt Simon, Wired, "Climate Grief Is Burning Across the American West," 14 Sep. 2020 Upon my arrival, the Mad Man, as the locals call him, who lived in a shack next door would begin his monologue in English. Buku Sarkar, The New York Review of Books, "Sharmila, the Chaiwalla, and Me," 14 Sep. 2020 Police told her to cancel the app and call them if any messages became threatening. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Car ‘stolen’ from Labor Day party resurfaces in nearby driveway: Orange Police Blotter," 12 Sep. 2020 The same day, his sister tried to call him for three hours, with no answer. Mallory Moench, SFChronicle.com, "‘Basically hell’: How the fast-moving North Complex wildfire trapped a tiny town in Butte County," 12 Sep. 2020 Jessica Williams, who earlier pleaded for her missing son Josiah to call her, told CBS13 Sacramento that DNA confirmed the teen’s death. Brian Melley, Anchorage Daily News, "10 dead as California’s North Complex wildfire becomes deadliest of year," 11 Sep. 2020 Jessica Williams, who earlier pleaded for her missing son Josiah to call her, told CBS13 Sacramento that DNA confirmed the teen's death. Arkansas Online, "10 dead as California fire becomes deadliest of year," 11 Sep. 2020 Despite going on an intimate horseback riding date, Carrington Rodriguez and Kierstan Saulter decided to call it quits. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, "'Love Island' Week 2 spoilers: Who's together, who's out, which relationship lasted 24 hours," 10 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Her name has been chanted at nationwide protests as demonstrators across the country call for greater police reform and an end to brutality at the hands of law enforcement. Sarah Ravits, NOLA.com, "City Council unanimously votes to restrict police usage of tear gas except in ‘serious situations’," 18 Sep. 2020 At the start of September, single stock call option volumes averaged $335 billion over 10 days, approaching the notional volume traded in index put options for the first time in at least three years, Goldman data shows. Katherine Greifeld, Bloomberg.com, "Quadruple Witching Sparks Bursts of Trading Amid Options Anxiety," 18 Sep. 2020 Police ask that anyone with information call Crime Stoppers at 334-215- STOP, Secret Witness at 334-625-4000 or Montgomery Police at 334-625-2831. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "'He was a lot of things to a lot of people’: Hundreds gather at vigil for ASU student Adam Dowdell," 18 Sep. 2020 With a budget of about $2.1 million annually, CAHOOTS answered 17% of the Eugene Police Department’s overall call volume in 2017, according to the program. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, "Police have shot people experiencing a mental health crisis. Who should you call instead?," 18 Sep. 2020 Milwaukee police call logs show a shooting was reported there at 10:21 p.m. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Homicide reported on Milwaukee's west side," 18 Sep. 2020 Tony April told the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman that troopers got a call Thursday about a suspicious package, alerted neighbors in the area, and were awaiting the arrival of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation to take further action. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, "Suspicious package prompts evacuation of Mat-Su Jewish Center near Palmer," 18 Sep. 2020 Dutton put out a call for help on Facebook, which quickly racked up thousands of views. Angela Roberts, baltimoresun.com, "After death, Stanley the Canton Ace Hardware cat is memorialized in store," 18 Sep. 2020 Then one day Haid answered a random call the receptionist would usually pick up. Janelle Jessen, Arkansas Online, "Beauty in pieces: Artist brings mosaic work to life," 17 Sep. 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

20 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Call.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/call. Accessed 29 Sep. 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

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

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!