telephone

noun, often attributive
tele·​phone | \ˈte-lə-ˌfōn \

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

call, dial, phone, ring (up) [chiefly British]

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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

The first trans-Atlantic telephone cable officially goes into service with a three-way ceremonial call between New York, Ottawa and London. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Kavanaugh vows to continue to fight in FOX exclusive; Trump, Republicans blast Dem smear campaign," 25 Sep. 2018 Keep a telephone and U.S. Coast Guard-approved life-saving equipment by the pool as well. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Bode and Morgan Miller Open Up About Their Daughter’s Drowning Accident in New Interview," 30 July 2018 Most of the episode was me, the director, and a telephone. Rebecca Phelps, Marie Claire, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: An Oral History," 27 Sep. 2018 John Fea, a professor of history at Messiah College in Pennsylvania and author of Believe Me: the Evangelical Road to Donald Trump, told Vox in a telephone interview on Thursday that Morris’s actions represented a combination of two elements. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "What one pastor’s anti-Nike protest says about religion and nationalism in America," 14 Sep. 2018 When reached by telephone, Super Cars owner Eliyahu declined comment. Jose Lambiet, miamiherald, "Rapper Travis Scott: Miami car rental company tried to extort me," 5 June 2018 The most effective recruitment method has not been the placement of traditional fliers tacked to a telephone pole, but rather the lab’s Instagram page. Rebecca Robbins, STAT, "A daredevil researcher’s latest quest: to restore sight lost to glaucoma using virtual reality," 2 July 2018 According to the complaint, telephone records also show Paige's phone was near Popeyes at the time of the drug buy with Couillard. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "West Allis man get 6 years in prison for selling heroin that killed 20-year-old," 11 July 2018 Shoplifting 5500 State Road 810 in Coconut Creek, June 13, 10:40 a.m. An arrest took place at Walmart after someone attempted to take four AT&T telephones valued at a total of $139.52 and other miscellaneous items. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Coral Springs, Coconut Creek area crime reports," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the Montgomery County incident, police said a faculty member told police that a threat had been telephoned to the middle school. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "Local Digest: Man dies after Memorial Day crash," 7 June 2018 In December, Putin telephoned U.S. President Donald Trump to thank him for what the Kremlin described as a CIA tip that prevented the bombings in St. Petersburg. Vladimir Isachenkov, Fox News, "World Cup security Putin's top priority but threats loom," 4 June 2018 In December, Putin telephoned U.S. President Donald Trump to thank him for what the Kremlin described as a CIA tip that prevented the bombings in St. Petersburg. Washington Post, "World Cup security Putin’s top priority but threats loom," 4 June 2018 Jake Maggio summoned the police, while Andrew telephoned for the Charity Hospital ambulance. James Karst, NOLA.com, "'A peculiar turn' in the Axeman investigation of 1918," 13 May 2018 At another point in the clip, a six-year-old Salvadorian girl pleads through tears for someone to telephone her aunt, according to ProPublica. Monica Rodriguez, Fortune, "Audio Reveals Border Agent Joking About Crying Immigrant Children," 18 June 2018 Later, when Doris—looking youthful after a series of plastic surgeries—was dating much younger jazz musician Joe Castro, Barbara telephoned him. Stephanie Mansfield, Town & Country, "Inside the World's Richest Rivalry: Doris Duke and Barbara Hutton," 26 Apr. 2017 Richard telephoned several more times that February, Iseler said. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "He abandoned his family 25 years ago. Now Richard Hoagland owes them $2 million," 29 May 2018 El Nuevo Herald tried unsuccessfully to telephone the police station in Viñales, where Ruiz Urquiola has been held since last week. Nora Gámez Torres, miamiherald, "Cuban scientist sentenced to one year in prison for 'disrespecting' government authority | Miami Herald," 9 May 2018

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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Statistics for telephone

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for telephone

The first known use of telephone was in 1832

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More Definitions for telephone

telephone

noun

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 \

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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