Main definitions of phone in English

: phone1phone2

phone1

noun

  • 1A telephone.

    ‘a few seconds later the phone rang’
    ‘a receptionist answered the phone’
    [as modifier] ‘a phone number’
    • ‘Mr Lambert was sitting on the step outside and she gave him the phone to continue with the call.’
    • ‘When people bought their second and third phones, they'd worry more about price.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, officers at some stations found they could not get an outside line from landline phones.’
    • ‘The ring-tones of European phones don't sound the same as American ones.’
    • ‘Within seconds, the various camps hit the phones to decide on tactics.’
    • ‘She hung up and I stared at my phone blankly for a second before dropping it on my bed.’
    • ‘I chat to one guy on the phone whose voice is so husky and his chest sounds wheezy if he talks for long.’
    • ‘Most of the time I just answer the phones and file papers and run small errands.’
    • ‘It took a century to transform from Alexander Bell's basic invention to wireless phones.’
    • ‘After only a few seconds she put the phone down and looked back up at the two teens.’
    • ‘Radio and satellite phones allow easy communication with the outside world.’
    • ‘A telling example: there are more cell phones than land-line phones in Mumbai today.’
    • ‘The work he had to do at home was done in ten seconds flat after hanging up the phone.’
    • ‘MobiTV ads also would be able to leverage the interactive nature of wireless phones.’
    • ‘The offices and users may have moved, but the phones were left in place and the rent continued to be paid out on them.’
    • ‘He jokes with him on the phone, finishes the call and continues at the point that he left off.’
    • ‘It turns out that people who don't have mobiles or fixed landline phones use payphones more than any other group.’
    • ‘He held the phone to his ear for a few seconds after she hung up, in a sudden shock.’
    • ‘The bandits also stole three cellular phones and two cordless phones, before escaping in a waiting vehicle.’
    • ‘Do mobile phones use the same frequency and radiation as cordless phones?’
    telephone, mobile phone, mobile, cell phone, car phone, radio-telephone, cordless phone, videophone, extension
    View synonyms
  • 2informal Headphones or earphones.

    • ‘I had a pair of SR-325i and must admit they were the most uncomfortable phones I have ever placed on my head.’
    • ‘If you've got your eye on a nice pair of phones but their cord is too short for your listening setup, an extension cord designed for headphones can bridge the gap.’
    • ‘On paper it sounds pretty boring, and through the phones it's not much better.’

verb

  • 1Contact someone by telephone.

    [with object] ‘he phoned her at work’
    [no object] ‘she phoned about twenty minutes ago’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She phoned them up and demanded they redeliver.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘She phoned me up and we pondered it for a few minutes, before realising the PC in question didn't have any speakers.’
    • ‘I wasn't sure anything had happened until friends started phoning me up.’
    • ‘Some people have phoned us up and have come in and made statements.’
    • ‘It takes a couple of seconds to phone a team doctor and check if you can take something.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He said: ‘A friend phoned me up and told me there was a possibility of floods.’’
    • ‘Sloan, who organised the music, wrote a wish list of all her favourite bands in the world and then started phoning them up.’
    • ‘The PFY dutifully phones and a ring sound emerges from the heart of the machine.’
    • ‘Then you come home and phone a friend to grumble about this speech you've got to make.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Frank phoned me up after Silverstone last year and things started to firm up over the winter.’
    • ‘I phoned them up and challenged them on this and they admitted it.’
    • ‘I have people phoning me up with their concerns.’
    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/place a call, make a call to, place a call to
    buzz, give someone a buzz
    bell, give someone a bell, give someone a tinkle, get on the blower to
    get someone on the horn
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal 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’
      • ‘Dangers never succumbs to the temptation to phone it in, and he never relegates himself to simply giving in and playing generic pop music.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I talked to a newsperson who said the U.S. military is just phoning it in.’
      • ‘Jesse Ventura is brought up, but Dave says towards the end he phoned it in.’
      • ‘Yeah, it's August, but someone's really phoning it in at the Guardian.’
      • ‘On this collection Sarah Vaughan sounds like she's phoning it in - you can almost hear her yawning.’
      • ‘Other people see talent and virtuosity; I see a narcissist who's phoning it in.’
      • ‘Anthony Edwards and Gary Sinise both phone it in, and Dominic West has little trouble playing the drunk.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Renée Zellweger's mannered neuroticism is becoming increasingly annoying and Catherine Zeta-Jones phones it in.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He seems content to just phone it in, and why shouldn't he?’
      • ‘So as they say in showbiz speech, he's phoning it in tonight.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Bronson simply phones it in and collects his check, though probably having his wife Jill Ireland as co-producer was a nice inducement.’
      • ‘In fact, I think Jumbah is totally phoning it in.’

Phrases

  • on the phone

    • Engaged in a conversation over the telephone.

      ‘we were on the phone for 45 minutes’
      • ‘He was on the phone with Dr. Stephens for many hours trying to find out what could be done for her.’
      • ‘I've been on the phone all morning.’
      • ‘When we showed people how much energy they were losing, they usually were on the phone to a contractor before we could get out the door.’
      • ‘I was on the phone constantly as we were travelling to pick players up.’
      • ‘I was on the phone at the time.’
      • ‘Gary was on the phone talking to Belinda.’

Origin

Late 19th century: abbreviation of telephone.

Pronunciation:

phone

/fəʊn/

Main definitions of phone in English

: phone1phone2

phone2

noun

Phonetics
  • A speech sound; the smallest discrete segment of sound in a stream of speech.

    • ‘The justification was that phone boundaries are much more dynamic than stable, interior parts of phones.’
    • ‘It has been shown that enlarging the phone set and using more alternative symbols to represent partial variations and attempting to use more refined acoustic models trained from accurate surface form transcriptions are of little benefit.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: from Greek phōnē sound, voice.

Pronunciation:

phone

/fəʊn/