verb

also phone up" or "phone someone up
  • 1Contact someone by telephone.

    with object ‘he phoned her at work’
    no object ‘she phoned about twenty minutes ago’
    • ‘She phoned them up and demanded they redeliver.’
    • ‘My Egyptian friend had phoned me up and asked if I would like to go with her to see the Agricultural College where she studies, and meet her fellow students.’
    • ‘The PFY dutifully phones and a ring sound emerges from the heart of the machine.’
    • ‘I phoned them up and challenged them on this and they admitted it.’
    • ‘At least I had the sense of calling in sick this morning and when my boss phoned me up to check on me he asked if I wanted tomorrow off as well, which I gladly agreed to.’
    • ‘It takes a couple of seconds to phone a team doctor and check if you can take something.’
    • ‘Frank phoned me up after Silverstone last year and things started to firm up over the winter.’
    • ‘Sloan, who organised the music, wrote a wish list of all her favourite bands in the world and then started phoning them up.’
    • ‘I got home from the hospital and they phoned me up immediately to say they were taking her to theatre, so I had to go straight back.’
    • ‘He said: ‘A friend phoned me up and told me there was a possibility of floods.’’
    • ‘I wasn't sure anything had happened until friends started phoning me up.’
    • ‘Feeling really tired, I phoned Lucy up to say that I couldn't make it today & I have spent most of the day lazing around, reading the paper mainly.’
    • ‘I have people phoning me up with their concerns.’
    • ‘She phoned me up and we pondered it for a few minutes, before realising the PC in question didn't have any speakers.’
    • ‘People have been phoning me up and stopping me in the street and saying how sorry they are to hear about what has happened to us.’
    • ‘Then you come home and phone a friend to grumble about this speech you've got to make.’
    • ‘A representative of the British Olympic Association actually phoned me up to ask if he was making a political statement.’
    • ‘She phoned me up at home to ask if I could come in at 3.40!’
    • ‘They phoned us up today asking if we do get to do the show, would be want to play live or play to a backing tape and if we can we're going to play live.’
    • ‘Some people have phoned us up and have come in and made statements.’
    telephone, call, call up, give someone a call, give someone a ring, ring, ring up, get someone on the phone, get on the phone to, get, reach, dial, make a call, place a call, make a call to, place a call to
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1phone it ininformal Work or perform without much effort, interest, or enthusiasm.
      ‘I think of my playing as committed—I can't remember ever phoning it in at any performance’
      • ‘Anthony Edwards and Gary Sinise both phone it in, and Dominic West has little trouble playing the drunk.’
      • ‘I can question his choice of material (as I often do), but I certainly can't complain that he's phoning it in.’
      • ‘Without a muse-cum-taskmaster Timbaland is tempted to phone it in, as he does on Under Construction II, a sequel not worthy of the name.’
      • ‘Yeah, it's August, but someone's really phoning it in at the Guardian.’
      • ‘Well, I guess I'd be phoning it in too if I knew that after my scene wrapped I could go back to partying on my yacht with my movie star friends on Lake Como.’
      • ‘I talked to a newsperson who said the U.S. military is just phoning it in.’
      • ‘In fact, I think Jumbah is totally phoning it in.’
      • ‘The band still makes some great songs; when the group misses, it's by trying to do too much, not by phoning it in Stones-like.’
      • ‘The theater district's Chimichurri Grill offers an Argentine menu that doesn't just phone it in.’
      • ‘On this collection Sarah Vaughan sounds like she's phoning it in - you can almost hear her yawning.’
      • ‘Jesse Ventura is brought up, but Dave says towards the end he phoned it in.’
      • ‘He seems content to just phone it in, and why shouldn't he?’
      • ‘Renée Zellweger's mannered neuroticism is becoming increasingly annoying and Catherine Zeta-Jones phones it in.’
      • ‘Comfort can easily lead to complacency, and for a band rooted in punk's Riot Grrrl movement, there's no greater sin than phoning it in.’
      • ‘Bronson simply phones it in and collects his check, though probably having his wife Jill Ireland as co-producer was a nice inducement.’
      • ‘So as they say in showbiz speech, he's phoning it in tonight.’
      • ‘Because Bill Barol and his beloved Blather Blog has returned after a months-long hiatus, including a few weeks there when he was obviously just sort of phoning it in, not that we don't all do that on occasion, of course.’
      • ‘Other people see talent and virtuosity; I see a narcissist who's phoning it in.’
      • ‘Dangers never succumbs to the temptation to phone it in, and he never relegates himself to simply giving in and playing generic pop music.’
      • ‘Sure, the official first game of the season took place, but so did four preseason games and another contest where the Rangers phoned it in against their Oklahoma City affiliate.’