Definition of on the telephone in English:

on the telephone


  • 1Using the telephone.

    ‘I spent the afternoon on the telephone’
    • ‘He had just spent two hours on the telephone with the Bishop discussing various sections of the Bible in excruciatingly fine detail.’
    • ‘He has been on the telephone to his wife for at least half of the time.’
    • ‘He had also spent several hours on the telephone to her the previous afternoon.’
    • ‘I'd flick through my telephone book and escape my confines by chatting on the telephone to people in England.’
    • ‘There were also criticisms that he was spending time on the telephone, apparently directly related to his ongoing dispute against the Authority.’
    • ‘It didn't stop Brian and myself spending half an hour discussing this issue this afternoon on the telephone.’
    • ‘The irony I found was that he is perfectly at home talking on the telephone or sending text messages.’
    • ‘You may give too much away on the telephone, it is easy to get carried away and it is not always easy to remember exactly what was said.’
    • ‘I spent the return journey from Hanover on the telephone.’
    • ‘That afternoon the Corporal spoke again to the appellant on the telephone.’
  • 2British Connected to a telephone system.

    ‘if they were not on the telephone, an officer had to deliver the message in person’
    • ‘If the member is not on the telephone when joining the rota payment for installation will be made by the University.’
    • ‘1 would write a letter to Mary that day (they were not on the telephone) expressing my concern about her and the current situation.’