telephone tag


: telephoning back and forth by parties trying to reach each other without success

Examples of telephone tag in a Sentence

We've been playing telephone tag—she's always out when I call, and vice versa.
Recent Examples on the Web Finally, the game of telephone tag ended. Justin Fenton,, 9 Aug. 2021 Remember telephone tag? Sally Schwartz,, 10 May 2021 Not that there aren’t plenty of excuses for slipping up, given the immensity of the task and its attendant glitches – the outdated lists, the telephone tag, the last-minute head-count changes. Mary Beth McCauley, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 Nov. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'telephone tag.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1969, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of telephone tag was in 1969

Dictionary Entries Near telephone tag

Cite this Entry

“Telephone tag.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

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