pay phone


: a usually coin-operated public telephone

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The first pay phone was installed in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1900. Fox News, 10 Mar. 2023 In the old days—the days of the sidewalk shoeshine, the days of the pay phone—a New Yorker could buy an evening edition of the Times or the Post from a metal news box and read it on the subway home. Adam Iscoe, The New Yorker, 26 Dec. 2022 Reporters, some from as far away as New York, raced for the pay phone in the lobby. oregonlive, 15 Feb. 2023 Lilia Falcon, José’s daughter, remembered her mother crossing the border with a pocket full of quarters for the pay phone in the park, since regular phone service wasn’t available in Boquillas. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, 14 Feb. 2023 Ten years later, a man called a real estate agency from a pay phone and asked to see a home. Carol Robinson |, al, 2 Feb. 2023 Another reporter beat her to a pay phone in a nearby drugstore. Katherine Rosman, New York Times, 11 Nov. 2022 Hacking went Hollywood in the 1983 movie WarGames, about a whiz kid who breaks into a Defense Department computer and, at one point, hijacks a pay phone by hot-wiring it with a soda can pull-ring. Rebecca Coffey, Discover Magazine, 19 May 2010 Meanwhile, CFO Matt Ellis highlighted on the call that consumers tend to pay phone bills before other bills even in challenging economic times. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1936, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pay phone was in 1936

Dictionary Entries Near pay phone

Cite this Entry

“Pay phone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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