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

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

In 1960, the first two-way telephone conversation by satellite took place with the help of Echo 1. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 13 Aug. 2019 The case relies on hundreds of recorded telephone conversations, reports by confidential informants and accounts by an undercover law enforcement officer who posed as a Vagos member in 2011 and 2012. oregonlive.com, "Trial for biker gang with Oregon ties set to begin next month in Nevada," 29 July 2019 The case relies on hundreds of recorded telephone conversations, reports by confidential informants and accounts by an undercover law enforcement officer who posed as a Vagos member in 2011 and 2012. Washington Post, "Nevada jury being picked for biker club racketeering trial," 29 July 2019 The Wyoming Valley West School District did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment, and attempts to reach school district officials by telephone were unsuccessful. Matt Mcnulty, PEOPLE.com, "Penn. School District Ignores Donors' Offers to Pay Student Meal Debt Amid Backlash: Report," 24 July 2019 The newest renewal options are in the library, by telephone, email and text. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Tosa considers eliminating overdue fines on children's library materials," 17 July 2019 Gaudio said Monday in a telephone interview with the Orlando Sentinel. Roy Parry, orlandosentinel.com, "Magic adding perfect piece in Al-Farouq Aminu, former coach Dino Gaudio says," 2 July 2019 Ryan Hart, 38, the minister and founder of the Church of the Open Cathedral, said in a telephone interview that the church was surprised by the reaction to the event. The Washington Post, al.com, "Texas library closing for church-hosted drag queen story hour," 11 June 2019 An edited and condensed version of the interview and of an hourlong subsequent telephone conversation follows. Quanta Magazine, "On the Best Use of Science to Safeguard Humanity," 5 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For more information on the project, residents or travelers are advised to telephone the Precinct 3 Commissioner’s Office at 281-367-3977. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "2 westbound lanes on Woodlands Parkway closed," 5 Aug. 2019 Dixon meddled in an important instant-replay decision, telephoning in from his home to overrule the crew at the stadium. oregonlive.com, "Canzano: Pac-12 Conference media day needed one more football coach," 24 July 2019 Now suggest that your keyboard-typing agent go offline and telephone the seller’s agent to get an explanation. Pat Kapowich, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Buyers’ higher bid didn’t win them the house; time to change agent?," 4 July 2019 German commanders in the invasion area telephoned for permission to bring up the First Panzer Corps, which was northwest of Paris. Time, "Inside General Eisenhower’s Sleepless Night Ahead of the D-Day Invasion," 6 June 2019 Preparations for the mini-summit in Washington were in high gear when Pompeo telephoned Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and canceled Thursday's meeting. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, "Mike Pompeo was supposed to meet with his Indian counterpart. He went to North Korea instead.," 6 July 2018 That put him close to Mr. Trump the businessman, who often telephoned CEOs who did business in China— Blackstone Group LP’s Stephen Schwarzman and Wynn Resorts founder Steve Wynn—who urged him to cut a deal. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "‘Bring Me Tariffs’—How Trump and Xi Drove Their Countries to the Brink of a Trade War," 28 Nov. 2018 Kivlen frantically telephoned friends at the GLHF bar hosting the tournament at the Jacksonville Landing venue. Alan Blinder, The Seattle Times, "Jacksonville shooting suspect appeared to be targeting specific gamers, police say," 28 Aug. 2018 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

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

18 Aug 2019

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 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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