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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I had a pair of SR-325i and must admit they were the most uncomfortable phones I have ever placed on my head.’

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’
    • ‘Some people have phoned us up and have come in and made statements.’
    • ‘I have people phoning me up with their concerns.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I wasn't sure anything had happened until friends started phoning me up.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A representative of the British Olympic Association actually phoned me up to ask if he was making a political statement.’
    • ‘He said: ‘A friend phoned me up and told me there was a possibility of floods.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She phoned them up and demanded they redeliver.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I phoned them up and challenged them on this and they admitted it.’
    • ‘The PFY dutifully phones and a ring sound emerges from the heart of the machine.’
    • ‘She phoned me up and we pondered it for a few minutes, before realising the PC in question didn't have any speakers.’
    • ‘Then you come home and phone a friend to grumble about this speech you've got to make.’
    • ‘It takes a couple of seconds to phone a team doctor and check if you can take something.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sloan, who organised the music, wrote a wish list of all her favourite bands in the world and then started phoning them up.’
    • ‘She phoned me up at home to ask if I could come in at 3.40!’
    • ‘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.’
    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. 1.1phone 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’
      • ‘I talked to a newsperson who said the U.S. military is just phoning it in.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Other people see talent and virtuosity; I see a narcissist who's phoning it in.’
      • ‘So as they say in showbiz speech, he's phoning it in tonight.’
      • ‘On this collection Sarah Vaughan sounds like she's phoning it in - you can almost hear her yawning.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Renée Zellweger's mannered neuroticism is becoming increasingly annoying and Catherine Zeta-Jones phones it in.’
      • ‘I can question his choice of material (as I often do), but I certainly can't complain that he's phoning it in.’
      • ‘The theater district's Chimichurri Grill offers an Argentine menu that doesn't just phone it in.’
      • ‘Anthony Edwards and Gary Sinise both phone it in, and Dominic West has little trouble playing the drunk.’
      • ‘In fact, I think Jumbah is totally phoning it in.’
      • ‘He seems content to just phone it in, and why shouldn't he?’
      • ‘Bronson simply phones it in and collects his check, though probably having his wife Jill Ireland as co-producer was a nice inducement.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Dangers never succumbs to the temptation to phone it in, and he never relegates himself to simply giving in and playing generic pop music.’
      • ‘Jesse Ventura is brought up, but Dave says towards the end he phoned it in.’

Phrases

  • on the phone

    • Engaged in a conversation over the telephone:

      ‘we were on the phone for 45 minutes’
      • ‘Gary was on the phone talking to Belinda.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was on the phone with Dr. Stephens for many hours trying to find out what could be done for her.’
      • ‘I was on the phone constantly as we were travelling to pick players up.’
      • ‘I've been on the phone all morning.’
      • ‘I was on the phone at the time.’

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/