telephone

noun, often attributive
tele·​phone | \ ˈte-lə-ˌfōn How to pronounce telephone (audio) \

Definition of telephone

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an instrument for reproducing sounds at a distance specifically : one in which sound is converted into electrical impulses for transmission (as by wire or radio waves)

telephone

verb
telephoned; telephoning

Definition of telephone (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to speak to or attempt to reach by telephone
2 : to send by telephone

intransitive verb

: to communicate by telephone

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Other Words from telephone

Verb

telephoner noun

Synonyms for telephone

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of telephone in a Sentence

Noun I just have to make a quick telephone call before we leave. You can order the cake over the telephone. The telephone has been ringing all morning! She picked up the telephone and dialed the number. He slammed down the telephone. They hired someone to answer the telephones. All our telephones are cordless. I left the telephone off the hook. Verb He telephoned me to say that he was going to be late. He telephoned to say that he was going to be late. You never write or telephone.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fortenberry said in a recent telephone interview with the Free Press, alleging a church investigator tracked him down and tried to suggest that he, too, was abused by Perrone. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Catholic church sued in novel lawsuit: Our priest was falsely accused," 13 Feb. 2020 The UT Tyler Center for Public Opinion is a full-scale polling center using computer assisted telephone interviewing software to conduct surveys that examine voter tendencies in statewide politics. Dallas News, "Dallas Morning News, University of Texas at Tyler join forces to poll Texans on elections, issues," 31 Jan. 2020 Miller reflected on a telephone conversation where Bryant called him the day after the Pacers dropped Game 7 to Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Ex-Pacers star Reggie Miller on Kobe Bryant: 'I thought I helped raise this young man'," 27 Jan. 2020 Jans said in a telephone interview that Kubo and Pettersson were noticeably more fit than their FCC counterparts. Pat Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "Notes from FC Cincinnati's preseason intra-squad scrimmage," 25 Jan. 2020 Kucinich, who mounted a pair of longshot presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008, declined to discuss his support for Gabbard in a Friday telephone conversation. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, "Ex-Cleveland mayor and congressman Dennis Kucinich backs Tulsi Gabbard’s presidential campaign, denounces killing of Iranian general," 3 Jan. 2020 Although many Trump supporters have tried to offer alternative explanations for Trump's telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Lesko went a step further in an exchange with a CNN correspondent. Shaun Mckinnon, azcentral, "In a tweet, President Donald Trump calls Rep. Debbie Lesko 'a great American'," 28 Dec. 2019 The whistleblower filed a complaint in August about one of Trump’s telephone conversations with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and other dealings with the Eastern European nation. David Klepper, The Denver Post, "Trump retweets, deletes, post naming alleged whistleblower," 28 Dec. 2019 The whistle-blower filed a complaint in August about one of Trump’s telephone conversations with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and other dealings with the Eastern European nation. SFChronicle.com, "Trump retweets post naming alleged whistle-blower in Ukraine probe," 28 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Not long after, President Trump telephoned the general to endorse his operation. Frederic Wehrey, The New York Review of Books, "Among the Syrian Militiamen of Turkey’s Intervention in Libya," 23 Jan. 2020 Nearly 20 times a day, Fleck or Rossi telephoned Joyner — Fleck insisting on FaceTime connections. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Turns out P.J. Fleck does eat difficult conversations for breakfast, or lunch or dinner," 24 Dec. 2019 Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid telephoned her Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinisto, on Monday to give a public apology on behalf of Estonia and its interior minister to Marin and her government. Washington Post, "Vote to remove Estonia minister over jab at Finnish PM fails," 17 Dec. 2019 Two preachers and a D.C. youth leader spoke at the hearing about how, in 1997, Edmond telephoned from prison into a meeting to mediate a peace treaty between two rival teenage gangs in Southeast Washington. Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post, "‘I am sorry for everybody I hurt’: ’80s D.C. drug kingpin Rayful Edmond III apologizes," 16 Oct. 2019 Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid telephoned her Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinisto, on Monday to give a public apology on behalf of Estonia and its interior minister to Marin and her government. BostonGlobe.com, "Helme’s anti-immigrant Estonian Conservative People’s Party, or EKRE, emerged from a March election as Estonia’s third-largest party.," 18 Dec. 2019 And then, the day after Mueller testified on Capitol Hill, Trump telephoned the leader of another foreign country, Ukraine, and sought assistance on his effort to win re-election by investigating Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son. Vivienne Walt, Time, "From Xi Jinping to Nancy Pelosi, These 6 Leaders Shaped the World in 2019," 13 Dec. 2019 Earlier that day, Vice President Al Gore had telephoned Texas Gov. George W. Bush to concede, but called back about an hour later to retract his concession. oregonlive, "Lars Larson first to name suspected whistleblower on-air: Morning Briefing for Friday, Nov. 8," 8 Nov. 2019 Before 9/11, Aftergood routinely telephoned senior Energy and Defense officials directly — not their public affairs liaisons — with questions, and often got answers. Tom Mueller, Twin Cities, "Tom Mueller: What whistleblowers have wrought, and why," 9 Oct. 2019

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

Noun

1832, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1877, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for telephone

Time Traveler

The first known use of telephone was in 1832

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Statistics for telephone

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Telephone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/telephone. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for telephone

telephone

noun
How to pronounce telephone (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of telephone

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a system that uses wires and radio signals to send sounds (such as people's voices) over long distances
: a device that is connected to a telephone system and that you use to listen or speak to someone who is somewhere else

telephone

verb

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

: to speak or try to speak to (someone) using a telephone : to call or phone (someone)

telephone

noun
tele·​phone | \ ˈte-lə-ˌfōn How to pronounce telephone (audio) \

Kids Definition of telephone

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device for transmitting and receiving sounds over long distances

telephone

verb
telephoned; telephoning

Kids Definition of telephone (Entry 2 of 2)

: to speak to by telephone

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Comments on telephone

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