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 The agency later expanded the ability of attorneys to appear by telephone and for some judges to work from home. Tal Kopan, SFChronicle.com, "Immigration courts in ‘chaos,’ with coronavirus effects to last years," 18 May 2020 Protests will be done online or by telephone, chief appraiser Bo Daffin says. Dave Lieber, Dallas News, "The Watchdog’s 2020 Primer on Your Property Tax/Appraisal Protest," 15 May 2020 Wednesday was the court’s final day of arguments by telephone in May, with livestreamed audio, and dealt with whether presidential electors are bound to support popular-vote winners in their states or can opt for someone else. Mark Sherman, BostonGlobe.com, "Justices ask if chaos will ensue if states can’t force electors to back popular-vote winners," 13 May 2020 The firm interviewed 1,112 adults by telephone for the poll, which has a 3.7% margin of error. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, "New poll shows Trump leading Biden in swing states," 13 May 2020 The justices were listening to arguments by telephone Tuesday morning in two cases about subpoenas from congressional committees and the Manhattan district attorney. Mark Sherman, ajc, "Supreme Court hears clash over Trump taxes, bank records," 12 May 2020 Kim Cordova, president of Local 7 of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union, said by telephone. Isis Almeida, Bloomberg.com, "Hundreds of U.S. Meat Workers Have Now Tested Positive for Virus," 10 May 2020 The Supreme Court heard oral argument by telephone for the first time Monday, with a real-time audio feed carried by C-Span. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Justice Thomas’s Question Time," 4 May 2020 Oregon and Washington met by telephone Friday afternoon and authorized reopening of limited salmon and steelhead fishing seasons on the Columbia River beginning Tuesday, May 5. oregonlive, "Bill Monroe: Oregon fishing, hunting to return almost to normal next week," 1 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For questions or other information, members can telephone both YMCAs: Branch Crossing information help can be reached at 281-367-9622. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Pair of Woodlands YMCA locations to partially reopen June 1," 22 May 2020 The Globe has e-mailed the defendants in the lawsuit or telephoned them seeking a response. BostonGlobe.com, "Victoria Santoro Mair, and the Boston firm of Meehan, Boyle, Black and Bogdanow, the boy was a second-grader at the Boston Renaissance school and boarded," 27 Sep. 2019 The clinician talks to school staff, surveys the child, then telephones a child psychiatrist and relays the findings. courier-journal.com, "JCPS is pulling hundreds of kids from class for psych evaluations and threatening parents," 25 Mar. 2020 The columnist wrote that Cecere told him companies sometimes make mistakes, and that Cecere had telephoned James directly. oregonlive, "U.S. Bank CEO: ‘I will fix this’ after Portland employees fired for Christmas Eve act of kindness," 2 Feb. 2020 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

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

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Telephone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/telephone. Accessed 31 May. 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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