pay phone


Definition of pay phone

: a usually coin-operated public telephone

Examples of pay phone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There’s an old pay phone that hasn’t worked in a decade. Christina Tkacik,, "Last call (again) at Mt. Royal Tavern as Baltimore shuts down bars that don’t sell food amid coronavirus surge," 17 Nov. 2020 The case filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., alleges that Google uses billions of dollars collected from advertisers to pay phone manufacturers to ensure Google is the default search engine on browsers. Arkansas Online, "Justice Department files landmark antitrust case against Google; Arkansas joins suit," 20 Oct. 2020 Jangling quarters in his hand, Lt. Ken Micko anxiously waited in line for a pay phone at a naval port in Norfolk, Va., on June 26, 1945. Curt Brown, Star Tribune, "WWII co-pilot, 98, bailed out over Berlin as he became a dad," 3 Oct. 2020 Originally comprising four Spanish-style adobe casitas that shared a communal kitchen (and a communal pay phone), the home was in disrepair when Stanton and his partner, Israel Serna, bought it four years ago. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "Once Neglected, This Montecito Compound Is Now a Blissful Retreat," 21 Sep. 2020 Hoffa called his wife, Josephine, from a pay phone to say that he'd been stood up at a lunch meeting with two mobsters. Emma Dale, Detroit Free Press, "Remembering Jimmy Hoffa 45 years after his disappearance: 5 things to know," 30 July 2020 Hallock passed several houses, a pay phone, and then turned off the highway just before a major hospital. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, "Crosley Green's last chance for freedom," 19 Aug. 2019 Their blossoming union, however, is cut short when Edwards picks up a ringing pay phone outside of Johnie’s Coffee Shop on Fairfax, and learns that a nuclear attack is imminent. Los Angeles Times, "Disaster movies and disaster rations: A coronavirus food and film pairing," 3 Apr. 2020 Rankin had done the walk himself, from the pay phones to the blast site. Adam Carlson,, "'88 Days of Hell': The True Story of the Atlanta Olympic Bombing and the Wrongfully Suspected Hero at the Center," 1 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pay phone.' 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 pay phone

1936, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pay phone

Time Traveler for pay phone

Time Traveler

The first known use of pay phone was in 1936

See more words from the same year

Statistics for pay phone

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pay phone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pay phone

pay phone


English Language Learners Definition of pay phone

: a public telephone that you can use if you put coins into it or use a calling card to pay for your call

Comments on pay phone

What made you want to look up pay phone? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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