Definition of call someone out in English:

call someone out

phrasal verb

  • 1Summon someone to deal with an emergency or to do repairs.

    ‘patients are to be told to stop calling doctors out unnecessarily at night’
    • ‘I've had to call the police out a couple of times, and the problem has been and gone over the years, depending on her medication.’
    • ‘Any time there was an emergency, Gus could be called out and his wife and daughters had to fend for themselves.’
    • ‘No need to call out the royal guard; all parties are declared not guilty and are free to go.’
    • ‘The cracks were discovered last month after the gas company was called out to deal with an emergency pipe leak.’
    • ‘So, to beat the system, I've requested that we call the electrician out again.’
    • ‘When veterinarian Gail McCarthy is called out to the scene there isn't much she can do.’
    • ‘Last month we had to call the doctor out because the stress of all this had sent Hilary's muscles into spasm.’
    • ‘The police call out their elite strike force and the fuzz tour the resort for a little evidence tampering.’
    • ‘The school would make headlines six years later, when the Governor called out the Arkansas National Guard to prevent its integration.’
    • ‘The emergency doctor was called out at 2.15am.’
  • 2Order or advise workers to strike.

    • ‘Unison members in colleges were in disbelief that they had not been called out alongside members of other unions.’
    • ‘About 10,000 members at the bank's branches and call centers around the UK had been called out, a spokesman for the union said.’
    • ‘The Fire Brigades Union called its 50,000 members out on strikes last November.’
    • ‘Workers on London's Docklands Light Railway were called out on strike for 24 hours from 6.30 pm on March 25.’
    • ‘Nevertheless many of these workers did come out on the national days of action or when local unions called them out, and they solidarised with those who were on strike.’
    • ‘The rank and file have been 100 percent solid whenever they have been called out.’
    • ‘‘We'd have torn up our NUJ cards if they called us out on strike,’ said another.’
    • ‘We urge the CWU not to call our people out on strike action, which can only hurt our customers.’
    • ‘Union members in London are now demanding that they are called out to join the selective action within the next two weeks.’
    • ‘Splinter groups of communists and Trotskyists fought for supremacy on the shop floor, calling workers out on strike and typifying the industrial travails of the time.’
  • 3North American Draw critical attention to someone's unacceptable actions or behaviour.

    ‘people were calling him out for his negative comments’
    ‘Dan had called her out on a couple of contradictions in her story’
    ‘she called him on his claim that the media were doing a bad job of covering the economy’
    • ‘You are the one that keeps twisting what you're saying whenever you are called out on it.’
    • ‘The 84-year-old stopped short of apologising for calling Katy out for being late, but said she was sorry if it made her more upset during that sad time.’
    • ‘I'm one of those moms that will question their children about things that don't make sense, and call them out on their lies.’
    • ‘Larry didn't call her out on anything during the interview either.’
    • ‘She gets the whole house riled up, then walks away like nothing happened, and nobody calls her on it.’
    • ‘It's time for audiences to call them out on their hypocrisy and demand better representations of diversity.’
    • ‘Rip the cloak of secrecy off abuse and openly call out every abuser by name; perhaps some real change would begin.’
    • ‘These bystanders can help mitigate abuse by calling out bullies.’
    • ‘The pay's good, and hardly anyone will call you on your decisions when you're wrong.’
    • ‘He essentially just called the team out for being lazy.’
  • 4archaic Challenge someone to a duel.

    • ‘When he is called out to fight a duel, Boris cannot pull the trigger.’
    • ‘Your princess was well within her rights to call him out to duel.’
    • ‘I'll call him out and we'll settle this once and for all.’
    • ‘I'm pretty sure they each would have stepped up to the challenge if the other had called them out.’
    • ‘Steve told Clarence that I called him out, but that he wouldn't fight me.’