Definition of on call in English:

on call


  • 1(of a person) able to be contacted in order to provide a professional service if necessary, but not formally on duty.

    ‘your local GP may be on call round the clock’
    • ‘There is an emergency ski patrol service on call 24 hours a day.’
    • ‘I am on call today and went in to do my ward round earlier.’
    • ‘If a physical exam is to be done the physician on call will be contacted.’
    • ‘The team is on call 24 hours-a-day, and is trained in resuscitation techniques and how to use live-saving defibrillators.’
    • ‘Top marks also to all who remained on duty, or on call, over the festive period.’
    • ‘Generally, these caregivers work year round with no vacation and are on call 24 hours a day.’
    • ‘If you work in a global organization, you might be on call 24 hours a day for troubleshooting or consulting.’
    • ‘You have to get up in the middle of the night if you're on call.’
    • ‘If she is not on duty, she is on call so that she can respond around the clock to patients' needs.’
    • ‘The physicians can work fewer hours, both in the office and on call, and as they are able to delegate many tasks they can provide better services.’
    on duty, on standby, standing by, ready, available
    View synonyms
  • 2(of money lent) repayable on demand.

    • ‘High cost options such as recalling the loan and converting a term loan to an on-call loan are less preferred choices.’
    • ‘Keep your loan on call and simply pay off the 3% minimum each month.’