One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A telephone.‘a few seconds later the phone rang’‘a receptionist answered the phone’as modifier ‘a phone number’
telephone, mobile phone, mobile, cell phone, car phone, radio-telephone, cordless phone, videophone, extensionView synonyms
- ‘The ring-tones of European phones don't sound the same as American ones.’
- ‘I chat to one guy on the phone whose voice is so husky and his chest sounds wheezy if he talks for long.’
- ‘Mr Lambert was sitting on the step outside and she gave him the phone to continue with the call.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘After only a few seconds she put the phone down and looked back up at the two teens.’
- ‘Within seconds, the various camps hit the phones to decide on tactics.’
- ‘When people bought their second and third phones, they'd worry more about price.’
- ‘MobiTV ads also would be able to leverage the interactive nature of wireless phones.’
- ‘Radio and satellite phones allow easy communication with the outside world.’
- ‘The bandits also stole three cellular phones and two cordless phones, before escaping in a waiting vehicle.’
- ‘Most of the time I just answer the phones and file papers and run small errands.’
- ‘He jokes with him on the phone, finishes the call and continues at the point that he left off.’
- ‘She hung up and I stared at my phone blankly for a second before dropping it on my bed.’
- ‘The offices and users may have moved, but the phones were left in place and the rent continued to be paid out on them.’
- ‘Do mobile phones use the same frequency and radiation as cordless phones?’
- ‘Meanwhile, officers at some stations found they could not get an outside line from landline phones.’
- ‘It turns out that people who don't have mobiles or fixed landline phones use payphones more than any other group.’
- ‘It took a century to transform from Alexander Bell's basic invention to wireless phones.’
- ‘He held the phone to his ear for a few seconds after she hung up, in a sudden shock.’
2phonesinformal 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.’
- ‘On paper it sounds pretty boring, and through the phones it's not much better.’
- ‘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.’
phone it in
informal Work or perform in a perfunctory or unenthusiastic manner.
Late 19th century: abbreviation of telephone.
A speech sound; the smallest discrete segment of sound in a stream of speech.
- ‘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.’
- ‘The justification was that phone boundaries are much more dynamic than stable, interior parts of phones.’
Mid 19th century: from Greek phōnē ‘sound, voice’.
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