dial

noun
di·​al | \ ˈdī(-ə)l How to pronounce dial (audio) \

Definition of dial

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the face of a sundial
2 obsolete : timepiece
3 : the graduated face of a timepiece
4a : a face upon which some measurement is registered usually by means of graduations and a pointer the thermometer dial reads 70°F
b : a device that may be operated to make electrical connections or to regulate the operation of a machine a radio dial a telephone dial

dial

verb
dialed or dialled; dialing or dialling

Definition of dial (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to measure with a dial
2a : to manipulate a device (such as a dial) so as to operate, regulate, or select dial your favorite program dialed the wrong number
b : call sense 1m(1) dialed the office

intransitive verb

1 : to manipulate a dial
2 : to make a telephone call or connection

Definition of dial (Entry 3 of 3)

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Synonyms for dial

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of dial in a Sentence

Noun the dial of a pressure gauge I had to keep adjusting the radio dial to make the station come in clearly. Verb I'm sorry. I must have dialed the wrong number. dialed 911 and asked for the police
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Pink sapphires, deep green tsavorites, radiant peridots and brilliant diamonds define the case and crown, while hematite takes the spotlight on the dial plate alongside rubies and pink opals. Harper's BAZAAR, "Richard Mille's New Watch Collection Is a Celebration of Female Empowerment," 9 Dec. 2020 Creating new dial colors and changing design elements takes time and money and slows down production. Kristen Shirley, Bloomberg.com, "Chopard and Wempe Offer a Truly Limited Co-Branded Watch," 17 Nov. 2020 There are ways to report spam texts, such as copying the message and forwarding it via text to 7726, the telephone dial pad code for S-P-A-M. NBC News, "Sick of getting texts from the Biden or Trump campaigns? You're not alone," 29 Oct. 2020 Radium dial painting started gaining traction around 1917 in the United States, to provide watches that soldiers heading off to the trenches of Europe could read in the dark. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Joey King Stars In October’s Most Haunting Movie Yet — & It All Really Happened," 26 Oct. 2020 And its 41mm bronze case, green dial, and brown calf-leather strap complement a piece that's begging to slide under the cuff of a shearling bomber jacket. Daniel Bentley, Fortune, "3 bronze watches that deserve first place in your collection," 7 Feb. 2021 Maybe even call on a rotary dial phone, or a Nokia shaped like a brick, to stick with ’90s vibe. Jason Gay, WSJ, "The Buffalo Bills Have Won the AFC East. This Isn’t a Misprint.," 20 Dec. 2020 At all levels on the dial, childcare centers remain open. CBS News, "Watch Live: Denver Mayor Michael Hancock speaks about COVID-19 restrictions going into effect today," 20 Nov. 2020 Iowa: Watching the Hawkeyes is like turning on your VCR player, listening to your Sony Walkman and making a call on your rotary dial phone. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Michigan loss to Michigan State is worst and most surprising of Jim Harbaugh era," 1 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Companies may dial down attendance and sponsorship at conventions that are less important to them, but the trade shows with significant numbers of clients will still be valuable. Bill Conerly, Forbes, "Trade Shows Will Regain Importance After The Covid Pandemic," 1 Mar. 2021 Callers must continue to dial the number 1, plus the area code and telephone number, for long distance calls. Randy Tucker, The Enquirer, "Local calls will require dialing area code plus phone number beginning in October," 27 Feb. 2021 Today, artists dial in from backstage, their bed, even the beach. Sarah Bahr, New York Times, "What Goes Into ‘Diary of a Song’," 26 Feb. 2021 Mobile users can dial 833-568-7683 to receive a link to report an incident. Washington Post, "Prince William County crime report," 24 Feb. 2021 Any resident who notices someone suspicious should dial 911 immediately. Zach Murdock, courant.com, "Police searching for 2 armed suspects after shooting in Derby, crash on Route 8 in Seymour," 28 Dec. 2020 Che-Quiab, according to police, did not dial 911 when Krzystek started turning blue at the party and went to sleep. Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, "Illegal immigrant who benefited from DACA charged with murder of 16-year-old girl and rape of 14-year-old girl at house party," 10 Dec. 2020 Walz and health officials urged Minnesotans to dial back this year's Thanksgiving festivities. Janet Mooreand Zoë Jackson, Star Tribune, "Travelers continue to fly at MSP Airport despite warnings," 25 Nov. 2020 Back in Geneva, the American ambassador, Andrew Bremberg, urged Dr. Tedros to dial back praise of China. New York Times, "In Hunt for Virus Source, W.H.O. Let China Take Charge," 4 Nov. 2020

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

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First Known Use of dial

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1653, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for dial

Noun

Middle English dyal, from Medieval Latin dialis clock wheel revolving daily, from Latin dies day — more at deity

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Time Traveler for dial

Time Traveler

The first known use of dial was in the 15th century

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Statistics for dial

Last Updated

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dial. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for dial

dial

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the part of a clock or watch that has the numbers on it
: the part of a piece of equipment that shows the measurement of something with a moving piece (such as a needle) that points to a number
: a round control on a radio or television that you use to select a station or channel or to make the volume louder or quieter

dial

verb

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

: to select (a series of numbers) on a telephone by turning a dial or pushing buttons
: to make a telephone call to (a person, business, etc.)

dial

noun
di·​al | \ ˈdī-əl How to pronounce dial (audio) \

Kids Definition of dial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the face of a watch or clock
2 : sundial
3 : a usually flat round part of a piece of equipment with numbers or marks to show some measurement usually by means of a pointer the dial of a pressure gauge
4 : a part of a machine or device (as a radio) that may be turned to operate or adjust it

dial

verb
dialed or dialled; dialing or dialling

Kids Definition of dial (Entry 2 of 2)

: to use a knob, button, or other control to operate or select

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More from Merriam-Webster on dial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dial

Nglish: Translation of dial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dial for Arabic Speakers

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