Definition of call in English:



  • 1[with object and complement] Give (an infant or animal) a specified name.

    ‘they called their daughter Hannah’
    • ‘They called the baby Joseph Patrick and he was christened in the Holy Family Church.’
    • ‘The winning name was provided by John from New Norfolk who suggested calling the bird ‘Reggie’.’
    • ‘Morel gives birth to their third child, whom she calls Paul.’
    • ‘After being stunned by the spring flowers she saw in the park while she was pregnant, she decided to call her daughter Bluebell.’
    • ‘The angel who appeared to both Mary and Joseph told them to call their son Jesus.’
    • ‘When my husband and I were first married we had a cat we called Wanda.’
    • ‘Daisy, as we called the goat, would hate to be separated from her lambs and it was woe betide any dog that came near them.’
    1. 1.1Have a specified name.
      ‘she is called Eva’
      ‘a 1942 mystery called Time To Kill’
      • ‘Perhaps the most well known type of Venezuelan music is a rhythm called the joropo.’
      • ‘In the mid-1700s, when it was first recognized in sheep, the disease was called scrapie, because suffering animals tended to rub their skins raw.’
      • ‘The other piece of equipment is a device called a hydrometer, which measures alcoholic strength.’
      • ‘Grant aided, or publicly funded, housing used to be called council housing.’
      • ‘"No," said Sally, "she's called Vicky."’
      • ‘There is an extremely popular family restaurant in Bandra called Papa Pancho.’
      • ‘The most common allergen in soy is called trypsin inhibitor.’
      • ‘Performance poetry of this kind is called dub poetry.’
      • ‘This method is called the shareholder value approach.’
      • ‘What worked best for us was a book called Choosing Colours by Kevin McCloud, of Grand Designs fame.’
      • ‘His last book was called, "The Death of Outrage."’
      • ‘The two gentlemen of Verona are best friends called Valentine and Proteus.’
      • ‘I did write an article for the Pleasantville High School newspaper, which I think was called The Panther.’
      • ‘Nowadays, little would be thought of such a situation, but in the 1940's, "living in sin" as it was called, was looked on askance.’
      • ‘This game is called "Mighty No.9".’
      • ‘The criteria that SRI funds use to make socially responsible investments are called screens.’
      • ‘The French system combining sports and studies is called "sport etude."’
      • ‘One of my favourite games is called Hangman.’
      • ‘It was not until 1978 that individuals in the United States started showing signs of what would later be called AIDS.’
    2. 1.2Address or refer to (someone) by a specified name, title, endearment, or term of abuse.
      ‘please call me Lucy’
      ‘if he remains quiet she calls him a wimp’
      • ‘It immediately caught my attention that she had called my mother by her maiden name.’
      • ‘It is a good idea to call people by names they recognise and find acceptable.’
      • ‘I heard one girl called her a 'tomboy'.’
      • ‘She continues, calling me by my first name again… ‘I have a favour to ask you, but am not sure how you will react.’’
      • ‘She and Dennis had talked around the checkout counter and she'd gotten Dennis's last name wrong, calling him Lewis, and it stuck for some reason.’
      • ‘Though Rebekah is my name, everybody calls me Bekah.’
      • ‘One of my co-workers still calls me the wrong name almost every time he sees me.’
      • ‘He almost never calls me by my name, and when he does it's Nicolas.’
      • ‘He developed an adorable habit of calling me by my name in every sentence, which was somehow madly endearing.’
      • ‘I have no idea what his Christian name was and he called me Master Charles.’
      • ‘The name he calls me is actually not that different from my own.’
      • ‘One hasn't bothered to learn my name and just calls me ‘Rooney’.’
      • ‘Well, my name is Katrina Chestler, but everyone calls me Katie.’
      • ‘The reporter called her a "good-looking, smart, gin-drinking suburbanite."’
      • ‘What would Kris think if he'd heard her calling him that?’
      • ‘I never wanted to have that prefix attached to my name and have everyone calling me Sir Edward, so I went to university and became a professor.’
      • ‘Let's analyze the stupidity of your comment to Jack below, where you called him a loser.’
      • ‘She calls him brother and chastises him for speaking so sternly to her.’
      • ‘The chancellor of the exchequer calls the prime minister a liar.’
    3. 1.3Refer to, consider, or describe (someone or something) as being.
      ‘he's the only person I would call a friend’
      • ‘Airline officials are calling the attack a suicide attempt.’
      • ‘The organisation is said to be pinning its hopes on the House of Lords intervening and calling the strike ‘unlawful’.’
      • ‘But a senior U.S. defense official calls the peace plan a face-saving gesture for everybody.’
      • ‘One diplomat calls it probably the poorest and most corrupt country in Europe.’
      • ‘That's one of the reasons why I get so angry when people call all this ‘right-wing’.’
      • ‘The Ancient Greeks called that hubris and considered it a flaw of human character.’
      • ‘Whether it is what you might call professional misconduct may be another matter.’
      • ‘It was the kind of love that people often call unconditional, and I know what they mean.’
      • ‘They have argued that the amendments should not be considered, calling them new complaints that violate the one-year ban.’
      • ‘‘Keep up the fight,’ fellow fans urged in their e-mails, calling the boy an inspiration.’
      • ‘I'm not very good at what you might call the real world, the business world.’
      • ‘Call it crazy but I remember that first time you smiled at me.’
      • ‘Museum officials are calling this the largest cultural project in the city's history.’
      • ‘For five nights, we were on what you might call a floating hotel.’
      • ‘Since then, he has entered what you might call a rough patch.’
      • ‘Call me crazy, but this doesn't seem like a tough question.’
      • ‘U.S. officials are calling this a success.’
      • ‘To the north, in Baltimore, officials are calling this the worst flood in recent memory.’
      • ‘It's all part of what the American ambassador here calls the pope's moral megaphone.’
      • ‘My book has inspired some people to call me a socialist or communist or un-American.’
      describe as, regard as, look on as, consider to be, judge to be, think of as, class as, categorize as
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  • 2[with object] Cry out (a word or words)

    ‘he heard an insistent voice calling his name’
    ‘Meredith was already calling out a greeting’
    • ‘I made out the voice of the PA announcer calling out the name of a batter.’
    • ‘People with clipboards buzzed among them, calling out names, ticking off lists, leading them inside one by one to consulting rooms.’
    • ‘One day I found myself running home from the bus stop, calling out goodbyes to Tracy and Brian.’
    • ‘He didn't hear the bright, girlish voice calling out his name again and again until his caller stood right before him.’
    • ‘A voice broke through the silence, calling out her name.’
    • ‘Kyra smiled and noticed everyone, pointing and waving at her, while calling out words of good luck.’
    • ‘There was banging in the background and angry voices calling out her name.’
    • ‘He started screaming his head off, calling out horrible words.’
    • ‘He then scrambled down to the rudder to steer from there, but not before calling out a kind word to the deck below.’
    • ‘Madison makes her way out the door, calling goodbye to Robert over her shoulder.’
    • ‘You might think I have a lot of nerve calling out this word.’
    • ‘Standing up, I cupped my hands around my mouth, raising my voice before calling out his name.’
    • ‘She turned to face the ranks behind her and called words she had been waiting to speak for a very long time.’
    • ‘Jennifer blew kisses to visiting reporters and called out "hi, hi."’
    • ‘As we followed the hostess to our table, I heard a familiar voice from the kitchen calling out orders.’
    • ‘Looking around into the darkness she could still hear the voice calling out her name.’
    • ‘Instead of calling the words, I read them the letter.’
    • ‘Rina dropped to her knees and cradled her older sister in her arms, calling out her name in a pained voice.’
    cry out, cry, shout, yell, sing out, whoop, bellow, roar, halloo, bawl, scream, shriek, screech
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Cry out to (someone) in order to summon them or attract their attention.
      ‘she heard Terry calling her’
      [no object] ‘I distinctly heard you call’
      • ‘As she started to leave the office, Max called after her.’
      • ‘Rose could hear Laurie calling her, but she didn't turn back.’
      • ‘We waited in silence and fear for a huge customs agent to call us over.’
      • ‘After all, she had managed well enough the previous night, and calling a servant may draw attention to her presence.’
      • ‘The old gal called me over to the director's chair they always had for her on the set.’
      • ‘Another very old man was heard, calling the young boy back.’
      • ‘The cat heard me call and ran up to me.’
      • ‘As Natalie and I went into the lobby, we heard someone calling us.’
      • ‘Camped in the hills not far from her own house last summer, she even heard her uncle's voice calling out for her.’
      • ‘One afternoon in 1999, I was dozing when I heard my maternal grandmother calling me.’
      • ‘Estelle drifted off into an uneasy slumber and was awakened sometime during the late night by a low voice calling out to her.’
      • ‘As they were walking, Brooke heard someone calling her, and paused to see who it was.’
      • ‘I turned around and ran, but stopped on the stairs when he called after me.’
      • ‘Suddenly, a voice was calling out to him, coming from below.’
      • ‘She looked round to catch the bartender's attention, but didn't call him over.’
      cry out, cry, shout, yell, sing out, whoop, bellow, roar, halloo, bawl, scream, shriek, screech
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2[no object](of an animal, especially a bird) make its characteristic cry.
      ‘overhead, a skylark called’
      • ‘Crossing the gate, I could hear a sheep calling from behind some bushes.’
      • ‘Parents and kids alike will enjoy the sounds of a crackling campfire at dusk and of birds calling as the sun rises.’
      • ‘The large, long-billed birds returned, calling loudly.’
      • ‘For one instant, he thought it was another monkey calling from one of the many trees nearby.’
      • ‘A cuckoo called from faraway, a greater spotted woodpecker hammered out an urgent tattoo.’
      • ‘At one exciting moment, several kiwis were calling loudly only a few feet above us on a hillside, but they never came into view.’
      • ‘The horses in the paddocks were whinnying and nickering, and our mares called out in response.’
      • ‘When you hear a pack of wolves calling, you don't pay attention to anything else.’
      • ‘The birds all took flight calling in panic and monkeys leapt and ran screaming in every direction.’
      • ‘As she lies in bed one night, she is overjoyed to hear the monkeys call from the young forest.’
      • ‘The birds kept calling as they shuffled about, and I tried my best to let the sound sink into my brain.’
      • ‘So next time the sun is shining and the birds are calling, go outside to broaden your exercise routine.’
      • ‘The wolves were calling again, at about 4:45 a.m.’
      • ‘An owl called from down near the river.’
      • ‘Here, the air vibrates with the sound of booming waves and dancing, swooping birds calling to each other through the eddying gusts of Atlantic wind.’
      • ‘He heard his own breathing, and the birds calling from one of the distant jungles.’
      • ‘Birds called to each other from all around, and she felt her heart swell in return.’
      • ‘He enjoyed the way the wind swept over his head and the birds called out in song.’
    3. 2.3Shout out or chant (the steps and figures) to people performing a square dance or country dance.
      • ‘The caller walks everyone through the dance moves, and continues calling the steps until they are familiar enough so that the dancers do not need to have them repeated.’
      • ‘One lady in our group said that she would be traveling all the way to Fremont, Ohio in large part because Karen will be calling the dance there.’
      • ‘The Squire leads the side and calls the figures of the dances from within the set.’
      • ‘Calling the figures as the dance progressed was not an American invention as is often claimed.’
      • ‘Listen to the music and of course, listen to the leader calling the steps.’
    4. 2.4Bridge Make (a particular bid) during the auction.
      ‘her partner called 6♠’
      • ‘So the bidding is won by whoever is prepared to call the lowest card.’
      • ‘If a joker is turned up the dealer may pick it up and call anything trump.’
      • ‘A bid can only be overcalled by calling a lower card of the same suit as the original bid.’
      • ‘Then the next player calls, and so on until all cards have been called.’
      • ‘Betting then commences in a poker style manner, until the bet has been called.’
    5. 2.5North American informal Claim (a privilege) for oneself, typically by shouting out a particular word or set phrase.
      ‘I call first dibs on the bathroom’
      • ‘Meet us at the jump ropes. Delores and I call first up!’
      • ‘Let the creative juices flow when you pick out your props; I call dibs on the unicorn horn.’
      • ‘When we were picked for the same team, I was quick to call shortstop.’
      • ‘To be honest, I'm stunned that Ned didn't call dibs first.’
      • ‘Let's go play kickball. I call first up!’
      • ‘“I call front seat,” one of the kids will shout out.’
      • ‘"I call front seat by the window," he yelled to Simon as they raced toward the car.’
  • 3[with object] Contact or attempt to contact (a person or number) by phone.

    ‘could I call you back?’
    ‘at the first sign of heart-attack symptoms call 911 immediately’
    • ‘Already angered, Dawes becomes furious all the more when Clara calls Paul on the telephone.’
    • ‘I miss calling you to hear the latest in your life.’
    • ‘I have never met my father and finally called him on the telephone about two years ago for the first time.’
    • ‘When I called the number on the company's website, the CEO picked up the phone.’
    • ‘I'll call you back soon.’
    • ‘I'll call you tonight via telephone and we can decide where we're eating for dinner.’
    • ‘And if that's not bad enough, now I've got telephone solicitors calling me for charity donations.’
    • ‘I think about 90% of the time I know who's calling me when the phone rings.’
    • ‘I picked up the phone this evening and called him; we chatted for over an hour and it was like we'd last spoken yesterday.’
    • ‘The member of the family who has accompanied her is shown how to use the dial phone to call us.’
    • ‘To avoid giving himself away, he used public telephones and telephones at work to call the old couple.’
    • ‘I pride myself in either taking the call or calling the person back within an hour.’
    • ‘So I had to go find a telephone and call the director so that she would come down and escort me in.’
    • ‘Actually, I know a lot of people who are apprehensive about calling people they don't know on the telephone.’
    • ‘I could have just called him back by dialing the number on the call ID on my cell phone.’
    • ‘People, like the man whose apartment didn't have a door, can call the 800 number for help at any time.’
    • ‘To the caller, it is no different to calling any other telephone number.’
    • ‘I snapped out of it, and picked up the old fashioned telephone to call my sister.’
    • ‘He just gave us his personal number and we called him when we needed him.’
    • ‘Two weeks later I hadn't heard back so I called her but she'd changed her mind.’
    phone, telephone, get on the phone to, get someone on the phone, dial, make a call to, place a call to, get, reach
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    1. 3.1Summon (something, especially an emergency service or a taxi) by telephone.
      ‘her husband called an ambulance’
      • ‘Do not allow yourself or anyone else to become dangerously ill before calling a doctor or going to a hospital.’
      • ‘The Group Leader called the Ambulance Service who took him to the Hospital.’
      • ‘Students are advised to ‘arrange a lift or call a taxi if possible’ when travelling home in the evening.’
      • ‘Police, who were called in by the ambulance service, said no-one had been arrested.’
      • ‘He said the Essex Air Ambulance was called but was unable to attend.’
      • ‘The Welsh Air Ambulance was called to the scene, but was unable to land nearby because of woodland in the area.’
      • ‘She said she ran down to the station and made the report and the police called the ambulance that took him to the hospital.’
      • ‘Around eight police cars were called to one of the drinking establishments to what must have been a major incident.’
      • ‘The woman in the museum reception was kind enough to call a cab.’
      • ‘The ambulance was called immediately but the police were not aware of the death until 3pm.’
      • ‘If you are on your own, make other arrangements, such as calling a taxi.’
      • ‘He went to a telephone box and called an ambulance.’
      • ‘In both cases these are criminal offences and the police should be called.’
      • ‘You can help stamp out damage to our buses by calling Lewisham police if you recognise these two youths.’
      • ‘Bessie tells Jane that she fell sick and was crying, and that was why the doctor was called.’
      • ‘We called a cab to take us to the club.’
      • ‘Police and ambulance were called to the scene where the cyclist was treated for multiple injuries.’
      • ‘Officers from Greater Manchester Police and British Transport Police were both called to the scene.’
      • ‘At one stage a police van was called to the street to attend to a different property.’
      • ‘He attacked his father's car, and police who were called to the scene had to use CS spray to overcome him.’
      summon, send for, ask for
      View synonyms
  • 4[with object] Order or request the attendance of.

    ‘representatives of all three teams have been called to appear before the stewards’
    ‘I got a letter calling me for an interview’
    • ‘The father took custody of the infant after police called him to the scene.’
    • ‘She picked holes in every article I wrote, and eventually moved me to head office where she could call me in for regular dressings-down.’
    • ‘He served briefly as a Private First Class in the Marines before being called back for a secret position with the CIA.’
    • ‘Research has shown that people with high Positive Affect were more likely to get called back for second interviews.’
    • ‘Investigators called three people before a fact-finding grand jury two weeks ago.’
    • ‘If the patients switch physicians, record-keepers send patients simple questionnaires or call them for interviews.’
    • ‘Maybe they'll call me in to have a little chat.’
    • ‘Now they've backtracked and said they may call them to a disciplinary hearing.’
    • ‘She was also called to attend counseling on June 18.’
    • ‘The next workshop will be held on September where educational institutions will be called upon to attend.’
    • ‘This latest spat will be the third time London has called in the Spanish ambassador since the government was formed in 2011.’
    • ‘The director called him to his office on Thursday at 10.30 am to review his suspension.’
    • ‘He was called before the committee, and questioned on his motivations for these dismissals.’
    1. 4.1Bring (a witness) into court to give evidence.
      ‘four expert witnesses were called’
      • ‘Officials are still deciding which former employees will be called to give evidence.’
      • ‘Some of them - or others like them - might conceivably have to be called as witnesses.’
      • ‘Within a week, the witnesses had all been called, the cases for the prosecution and defence delivered.’
      • ‘Where the informant is a witness, then he or she must be called to give evidence.’
      • ‘There is also the question of why this primary witness was not called to give evidence.’
      • ‘Two Indiana State Police forensic scientists were also called to testify.’
      • ‘Well… if you are concerned about that there is of course a process whereby the court can call a witness.’
      • ‘The defense has one more witness, one more expert witness, to call to the stand on Thursday.’
      • ‘He pointed out that it would also be an inconvenience to anyone that was called as a witness.’
      • ‘He has not given evidence or called any witnesses on his behalf.’
      • ‘Once the parties have responded, witnesses will be called to give evidence at public hearings likely to begin next month.’
      • ‘Furthermore, it is rare for such experts to be called to give evidence or for their views to be tested.’
      • ‘He was a major player in the story put before the court but was not called as a witness.’
      • ‘The pretext for the refusal was that the defendant may abscond and could threaten key witnesses yet to be called.’
      • ‘The allegations hung over the couple, who were not called to give evidence in court, for more than a fortnight.’
      • ‘The Crown then called the two witnesses on whom they had relied at the trial.’
      • ‘First of all, it is I, and I alone, who will decide what witnesses will be called.’
      • ‘Judge Anderson ruled he could not be called as an expert witness.’
      • ‘In this case, the person to whom statements were made out of Court was not called as a witness.’
      • ‘He is one of up to 18 expert witnesses called to the hearing to support the council's case.’
    2. 4.2Cause (someone) to have a strong urge to choose a particular career or way of life.
      ‘he was called to the priesthood’
      [with infinitive] ‘I think teachers, really good teachers, are called to teach’
      • ‘They have been called to be witnesses for God.’
      • ‘I personally find joy in the work I have been called to do.’
      • ‘When he is called to follow the Lord, she turns her back on both the man and his God.’
      • ‘I was 19 years old when I first heard God calling me to religious life.’
      • ‘I believe that God called me to be a Bishop.’
      • ‘He felt called to make the world a better place by becoming a minister.’
      • ‘Are you despairing over the size of the task that God is calling you to do?’
  • 5[with object] Announce or decide that (an event, especially a meeting, strike, or election) is to happen.

    ‘there appeared to be no alternative but to call a general election’
    ‘she intends to call a meeting of the committee early next week’
    ‘the Allied forces called a ceasefire’
    • ‘Union leaders called a general strike for tomorrow if the leader was not released.’
    • ‘Postal vote applications can only be made within 17 days after the general election is called.’
    • ‘I could not believe that there was no time limit from the date of calling the meeting to the date it was finally held.’
    • ‘She was called back to Britain from Australia when a general election was called suddenly.’
    • ‘The special meeting had been called as a member had to be appointed before the deadline of July 5.’
    • ‘The next day they called a general strike, and roadblocks appeared everywhere.’
    • ‘Annan said the first attempt to call a truce on April 12 had failed.’
    • ‘Today's political leaders study long and hard which date to call a General Election.’
    • ‘The scaled down ceremony is due to take place ahead of a special meeting called by opposition councillors.’
    • ‘Another parish meeting can be called by the mayor, two councillors or six residents.’
    • ‘Griffith had not asked for me at all; he had called a press conference.’
    • ‘The findings were quickly taken up by Gov. Pat McCrory, who called a press conference on the issue.’
    • ‘No mass meetings have been called, and no strikes or industrial action have taken place.’
    • ‘He lacks the authority to call an ‘extraordinary meeting’ of the member clubs.’
    • ‘A week ago a national rail strike was called off at the eleventh hour when the management backed down over pensions.’
    • ‘The findings were quickly taken up by Governor McCrory, who called a press conference on the issue.’
    • ‘He said the union would call a special general meeting with the workers to inform them of the ruling.’
    • ‘The parish council chairman called a special public meeting on Tuesday night in the hall.’
    • ‘So we will have to ask the Labour Party when it intends to call the next election.’
    convene, summon, call together, order, assemble
    View synonyms
  • 6British [no object] (of a person) pay a brief visit.

    ‘he called around last night looking for you’
    ‘he had promised Celia he would call in at the clinic’
    • ‘A woman with the boy called upon at least six houses in Watson Close at about 5.30 pm on Saturday.’
    • ‘It is not clear if they are worried about the prospect of some of their friends calling in for a visit.’
    • ‘An inspector called round and was shown through the house to the garden where there was a garden area with a shed.’
    • ‘He rang her constantly, called round unexpectedly and even entered the house uninvited.’
    • ‘And if you like, you can call in at the office on a Friday evening to hand in your timesheet, and you get a beer and some crisps.’
    • ‘The woman let them in, but luckily a male friend called in and distracted the men and they fled empty handed.’
    • ‘You can call in at our home - you can phone first if you want an appointment.’
    • ‘Mom had often complained that nobody was calling in at Grandma's house much and would ask me to make an extra visit.’
    • ‘When he arrived in Settle, he called at the police station and told officers what had happened.’
    • ‘So my Dad calls in after a trip to visit Aunty Wilma, who's recovering from a stroke.’
    • ‘When his friends call at the house, she says he is sleeping, or in the bathroom, or cannot be disturbed.’
    • ‘On the way home we called in at the bird centre.’
    • ‘At one point, Karen's neighbour calls by to complain that work on the beach is "bringing all sorts to the area".’
    • ‘His old schoolmaster called by and launched into an analysis of American politics.’
    • ‘Indeed, Ray called around to us for a visit the Sunday before the dinner dance in Sligo.’
    • ‘Neighbours called to visit her on a regular basis and she enjoyed their company.’
    • ‘Then we will be told that one of their people will call to see us, and if there are any days or times that we are not at home or unavailable.’
    • ‘I obviously couldn't wait for another week, so my daughter called in at the local shop to buy some, after school.’
    • ‘Firefighters are urging people interested in their plight to call at the station and express an interest.’
    • ‘I have people calling in every day at my hospital room, asking what is going on.’
    pay a visit to, pay a brief visit to, visit, pay a call on, call in on, look in on
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  • 7[with object and complement] (of an umpire or other official in a game) pronounce (a ball, stroke, or other action) to be the thing specified.

    ‘the linesman called the ball wide’
    • ‘To me, the worst thing in baseball is when the pitcher is scared to throw the ball over the plate, and then the umpire calls it a strike when it's a foot outside!’
    • ‘The umpire called the ball out.’
    • ‘It was in a tennis match in Rome, the chair umpire called it out but the player saw it otherwise.’
    • ‘Wood's high fastball is tough to catch up to, and if umpires call it a strike, hitters must chase it.’
    • ‘The ball went in and out of the seats in such a way that the umpire called it a double rather than a homer.’
    1. 7.1[with object]Predict the result of (a future event, especially an election or a vote)
      ‘in the Northeast, the race remains too close to call’
      ‘few pundits risked calling the election for either Bush or Kerry’
      • ‘In 2000, NBC was the first network to predict the result - calling Florida for Al Gore at 1949 EST.’
      • ‘Still, analysts call the race dead even.’
      • ‘We have to call her vote 50/50, which means, according to our calculations, that the whole appeal is essentially a coin toss.’
      • ‘Election statisticians often need to get their hands on actual vote counts from test precincts to call a race.’
      • ‘Until the recent scandals, I was calling this election as a shoo-in for the Republicans.’
      • ‘The message that the competition between the two is too close to call came over loud and clear.’
      • ‘They are opposed by Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, making the final result of the vote too close to call.’
      • ‘The result is too close to call.’
      • ‘Hats off to you, Miguel, because on May 5 you called it - you said it was a shoo-in.’
      • ‘The personalised nature of the bid battle makes the outcome hard to call, analysts said.’
      • ‘Irrespective of how the pundits call this one - I suspect they may install Longford as slight favourites - the ordinary Sligo fan will expect a win.’
      • ‘The current government seems to think they have a mandate to end hunting, yet the issue is too close to call in opinion polls.’
      • ‘Your votes are flooding in every day in their hundreds but, with many categories still too close to call, every vote really does count.’
      • ‘Well, the networks are going to be calling the race in a much different way this time than they did in 2000.’
      • ‘Again, the return leg is too close to call with both teams capable of making of it through to the final in Mustangs.’
      • ‘This election is too close to call.’
      • ‘Election officials have also cautioned against calling the vote too soon.’
      • ‘With just a few days until Thursday's meeting at the Gresham in Dublin, few analysts are calling the outcome.’
    2. 7.2[with object]Guess (the outcome) of tossing a coin.
      ‘Burnley called heads and won the toss’
      [no object] ‘“You call,” he said. “Heads or tails?”’
      • ‘Goldsmith calls it tails—and wins.’
      • ‘I'm going to toss a coin and ask you to call heads or tails.’
      • ‘There was even a cheer and a bout of fist-clenching when Burnley called heads and won the toss to decide who went first.’
      • ‘The players in the group then establish a playing order by calling coin tosses, chipping toward a tee marker, or any other simple method.’
      • ‘More importantly, though, that winner would have correctly called the toss something like 16 times in a row.’
      • ‘The rest of the team wanted me to call "tails".’
      • ‘The captain was hoping for some luck with the toss, and after calling correctly he had no hesitation in reaching for his bowling boots.’
      • ‘But he never found out about what the best option to call during a toss is.’
      • ‘Ask the other person to call the coin toss before you toss the coin.’
      • ‘The captain who calls correctly on the toss of a coin will decide whether it's league or union in the first half.’
  • 8Computing
    [with object] Cause (a subroutine) to be executed.

    ‘one subroutine may call another subroutine (or itself)’
    • ‘The connection goes both ways; SISAL can call C and Fortran routines, and C and Fortran can call SISAL routines.’
    • ‘To call C routines from a Fortran program, you will have to write some C code.’
    • ‘Metadata that is generated establishes a mapping of interface parameters to the routine parameters of the called routine.’
    • ‘A unit test would directly call the subroutine I want to test, and it would rely as little as possible on other subroutines in the program.’
    • ‘Every time the subroutine calls itself, a few bytes are pushed on to the stack to store the return address.’
    • ‘A shared library delays the binding of a routine name to its executable function until the routine is first called when your program runs.’
    • ‘Before you could call a subroutine, you had to calculate its address.’


  • 1A cry made as a summons or to attract someone's attention.

    ‘a nearby fisherman heard their calls for help’
    ‘in response to the call, a figure appeared’
    • ‘Mary went to her pew and sat silently, listening to the calls and yells of the other kids going home outside.’
    • ‘I had just about made it out the door when a call from behind me drew my attention.’
    • ‘She ignored anybody else on the street, not paying attention to the calls she was getting.’
    • ‘The woman ran as the guys chased after her, yelling wild calls.’
    • ‘Suddenly, the once somber and silent pressroom erupted in a cacophony of calls vying for the president's attention.’
    • ‘I heard her muffled call from the car.’
    • ‘Everyone else was already in there and he was greeted with loud calls and hellos as he entered the dressing room.’
    • ‘They were yelling, their calls reverberating down the hall.’
    • ‘Rescue workers moved in, picking over debris and listening for calls for help.’
    • ‘My feet abruptly started walking faster after I heard Yori's call.’
    cry, shout, yell, whoop, roar, scream, shriek
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with modifier]A series of notes sounded on a brass instrument as a signal to do something.
      ‘a bugle call to rise at 5:30’
      • ‘Performing the poignant trumpet call is the 92-year-old's way of honouring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for Queen and country.’
      • ‘Like any ex-civilian, raw recruit Elvis Presley, the king of rock 'n' roll will be keeping time to ordinary bugle calls.’
      • ‘The bugle call sounded at retreat was first used in the French Army and dates back to the crusades.’
      • ‘His greatest music was made at a time of optimism in America, when the roar of the plains and the dissonant buzz of the cities still felt like the bugle calls of the new frontier.’
      • ‘Toward the end of one song, David Johnson busted out a cavalry call on the trumpet.’
    2. 1.2A direction in a square dance given by the caller.
      • ‘In traditional square dancing the timing of a call is fitted to the music.’
      • ‘Wilma said the calls make square dancing easy to learn.’
      • ‘Any given call might be modified by an instruction specifying which dancers should do this particular call.’
      • ‘If the dancers do not know who is the lead couple or who is the inside couple, they will not be able to perform the call.’
      • ‘Square dances, with many of the calls in French, also became popular in the twentieth century.’
    3. 1.3Bridge A bid, response, or double.
      ‘the alternative call of 2♠ would be quite unsound’
      • ‘Then betting commences with raises, calls and folds as usual.’
      • ‘Since each call adds two cards to a player's hand, you can check how many calls you have made by counting the cards in your hand.’
      • ‘In some schedules a solo is worth more if you bid it over a previous call of misère or piek.’
      • ‘Five and six are no longer available, as this player has already used all his opportunities for these calls.’
      • ‘Each player is allowed a maximum of three calls per game.’
  • 2The characteristic cry of a bird or other animal.

    ‘it is best distinguished by its call, a loud “pwit”’
    cry, song, sound
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A device used to imitate the cry of a particular bird or other animal.
      ‘turkeys in the wild don't sound like most turkey calls’
      ‘he bought a duck call at the store’
      ‘most hunters I know have at least one call tucked away in a pocket’
  • 3An instance of speaking to someone on the phone or attempting to contact someone by phone.

    ‘I'll give you a call at around five’
    ‘he stopped returning her calls’
    ‘a ten-minute call to the emergency services’
    • ‘She works by herself on the floor and is constantly interrupted by calls on her mobile and fixed-line phones.’
    • ‘Inmates are given phone cards to be used with conventional telephones and calls are monitored.’
    • ‘Brian, who lives in the Costa Brava, will not be at the party, but the pair will be waiting by the telephone for his call.’
    • ‘She told the court that she left her boyfriend at the flat briefly to make a call from a nearby telephone box.’
    • ‘The Department of Agriculture has received calls from consumers worried about whether they consumed some of the recalled beef.’
    • ‘Some residents, such as Mr Pilkington, had opted to have their incoming calls diverted to mobile telephones, she said.’
    • ‘Police sent three squad cars and a helicopter in response to an emergency call.’
    • ‘If they experience an emergency, they should still telephone 999 as their call will be answered.’
    • ‘The best approach is not to answer the call in the first place.’
    • ‘According to some villagers, they could not make calls from their mobile telephones during the incident.’
    • ‘She claimed she can't get her mortgage representative to return her calls.’
    • ‘The spokesman declined to release further information, including a tape of the 911 call.’
    • ‘In the case of international calls, communication from a computer to a telephone abroad is allowed.’
    • ‘Another bit of cell phone company insanity - we pay for incoming calls but those telephone numbers are not recorded on the bill.’
    • ‘Last year the emotional support charity had to deal with in excess of half a million calls to its telephone helpline.’
    • ‘My late afternoon siesta was interrupted by a call from Graham.’
    • ‘Unhappily this perception was reinforced by reports of police failing to respond to emergency calls.’
    • ‘My phone was ringing with calls from all over the country.’
    • ‘It is best to make such calls from public phones, using telephone cards.’
    • ‘The dish is used to connect calls from landline telephones to mobiles and vice versa without the need for cables.’
    phone call, telephone call
    View synonyms
  • 4A brief social visit.

    ‘we paid a call on Howard’
    • ‘The Graphic published a picture of a lady bountiful making her charitable calls around the estate with a friend, accompanied by two police constables.’
    • ‘A routine delivery task turned into an adventure when she made a call on the village.’
    • ‘Lisbon is the first of our calls around the Iberian peninsula.’
    • ‘I paid some calls to old friends in Manhattan.’
    • ‘She will make a courtesy call on the Russian president during her stay in Moscow.’
    • ‘The video shows the first port call of the world's largest ship in the port of Busan in South Korea.’
    • ‘Francis paid a call on his predecessor at a monastery on the Vatican's grounds to offer Christmas greetings.’
    • ‘As Vettel was making his first pit call on lap 14, the Finn was seen leaving the circuit.’
    • ‘He pays a call on his friend and we take off on a journey discovering the life of one of the most important British artists of modern times.’
    • ‘People who have been out drinking make a final call at the kebab house before returning home.’
    • ‘There are moments of humor, such as a scene where a sales representative makes a call on Blake, who is nodding out in a spaghetti-strap dress.’
    visit, social call
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1A visit or journey made by a doctor or other professional in response to a request for help, especially in an emergency situation.
      ‘the ambulance is out on a call’
      ‘the district nurse used to make her calls on a bicycle’
      • ‘The television show hostess followed firefighters out on a call that goes horribly wrong.’
      • ‘She said that the nurse had been called away to another part of the home on an emergency call.’
      • ‘In many city fire departments, firefighters are sent home after two calls.’
      • ‘Unless you know a psychologist that does home calls it will be difficult to get her help that she knows she needs but refuses to get.’
      • ‘He was told by many practice management groups that the personal call from the doctor would bring the patients back and help to support growth in his practice.’
      • ‘Another element in the exercise will be an emergency call to Church island to attend to campers who are in difficulty.’
      • ‘Amherst firefighters were called in to assist Belchertown firefighters, who were already on a call to vent propane from a home at the time.’
      • ‘The police warning is reported to have initiated the desired effect, forcing some to walk their dogs in secluded areas and ask for home calls by vets.’
      • ‘At this time, all available vehicles were on other emergency calls and it was not possible to activate a crew.’
      • ‘When a physiotherapist made one of her regular calls at the family home. she noticed Zoe was unwell, and asked if she had been taking her antibiotics.’
      • ‘One of the most common home repair calls in Florida is for fascia damage, which is particularly susceptible to water damage.’
  • 5An appeal or demand for something to happen or be done.

    ‘the call for action was welcomed’
    ‘a call to all sides to remain calm and refrain from violence’
    ‘there are more and more calls on his time’
    • ‘There are also widespread calls here for our government to intervene and ‘cap’ prices in Ireland.’
    • ‘There were calls for a tourist boycott, but nobody paid much attention to it.’
    • ‘I don't earn nearly what my husband does, because I simply have too many other calls on my time.’
    • ‘He said he does not intend staying in office beyond his term, but rejected calls to resign before that.’
    • ‘Set out what money you have coming in on one side and your outgoings on the other (rent/mortgage, food, clothing, and any other calls on your income).’
    • ‘The threat comes amid calls on the Government to build on our Olympic success by reversing funding cuts to school sports.’
    • ‘There was also more than one call for him to resign.’
    • ‘The mayor has rejected widespread calls to resign.’
    • ‘The country has branded the poet "persona non grata", amid calls he be stripped of his Nobel Prize.’
    • ‘There have been calls to ban helium balloons, thanks to the scarcity of the gas which keeps them airborne’
    • ‘He begins by discussing calls in the 1870s for reform of the property tax, the backbone of state and local finance.’
    • ‘Fifty-eight percent disapprove, only 35 percent support the president's calls for reform.’
    • ‘And calls are growing for the government to relax its anti-inflationary policies.’
    • ‘She issues a clarion call for accountability at the top of corporations and better corporate governance.’
    • ‘If you are a researcher, you have many calls on your time.’
    • ‘Mr O'Farrell has acknowledged she acted badly but doesn't seem to be heeding the opposition's call to sack her.’
    • ‘But she did not endorse calls to ban home breeding, instead focusing her concern on commercial breeders who keep five or more dogs.’
    • ‘United Nations emergency officials have repeated their urgent call for more international assistance.’
    appeal, request, plea, entreaty
    View synonyms
    1. 5.1[usually with negative]Demand or need for (goods or services)
      ‘there was little call for work as sophisticated as his’
      • ‘There's never any call for resorting to insults and name-calling.’
      • ‘There is no call for that type of behavior ever!’
      • ‘Many superhero enthusiasts may have been disheartened by the Superman Returns version and there was not much call for a sequel.’
      • ‘The team is still under strength but there is some call for optimism.’
      • ‘There isn't much call for investment bankers in Whistler, so John decided he'd better start a small business.’
      • ‘At the secondary level there was hardly any call for history teaching.’
      • ‘We have no call for herbal or fruit tea around here.’
      • ‘Some GPs said they had already surveyed their patients and found there was little call for evening and weekend appointments.’
      • ‘There's no call for any of this nonsense really.’
      • ‘There was little call for healthfood at the Olympic Village as the games came to an end.’
      • ‘When allowed to, he can be much funnier than Johnson, but there's not much call for a wise-cracking foreign secretary.’
      • ‘There's quite a good market for recycled tyre materials, but there's little call for recycled electronics waste.’
      need, necessity, occasion, reason, justification, grounds, excuse, pretext
      demand, desire, want, requirement, need
      View synonyms
  • 6[in singular] An order or request for someone to be present.

    ‘he was delighted that so many former players had heeded the call to attend the conference’
    • ‘I thank God that I heeded my wife's call to attend our church's vigil in Ebute Meta.’
    • ‘He will start the year at AAA, and at some point in the season will get the call to come to Chicago, if he pitches well enough.’
    • ‘They're likely to ignore any call to a negotiating table.’
    • ‘Once again, the United States and United Kingdom chose to heed the call to arms together.’
    • ‘Dawn commences with the morning call to prayer - broadcast over a loud speaker.’
    • ‘85% of the workforce there did not heed a call to return to work, in spite of an interdict by the Labour Court declaring their strike unprotected.’
    • ‘The call to return to the battlefield is one heeded by many veterans through the ages.’
    • ‘The government then jumped into the fray with an unofficial call to arms.’
    • ‘Christian faith teaches that such a call will not summon us to some vague eternity.’
    • ‘Each day the calls to prayer are broadcast over loudspeakers for everyone to hear.’
    • ‘We had only completed two laborious circuits when the call to night prayers sounded.’
    • ‘It was a shaking in the very depths of the earth, and it was a call to battle.’
    • ‘He'd been contracted to start in February, but answered a Jockey Club call to come earlier when injuries brought the club to the edge of a jockey shortage.’
    summons, request
    View synonyms
    1. 6.1A vocation.
      ‘feeling the call to ministry, I started looking for a Bible college’
      • ‘His call to a culinary career began at a young age.’
      • ‘People say I could have gone professional because of my love for football but I believe that in life, each person has his call and vocation.’
      • ‘Our call to be an informal educator involves commitments to growth and change.’
      • ‘Peter, an idealistic young Yale graduate, worked as a journalist covering the war in Paris when he felt the call to serve.’
      • ‘From his first days as Pope he had a strong inner call to be a missionary.’
      • ‘She trained as an Infant School Teacher and it was while she was on a retreat for teachers that she felt the call to the religious life.’
      vocation, mission
      View synonyms
    2. 6.2A powerful force of attraction.
      ‘hikers can't resist the call of the Sierras’
      • ‘Today a new generation has taken charge of Labour, a new generation that understands the call of change.’
      • ‘In the end the call of comedy was too great, and he forged a name for himself on the circuit.’
      • ‘They could barely resist the call of the forbidden, and the urge was overpowering.’
      • ‘This government needs the guts to resist the call of the past, and govern for the future.’
      • ‘Samantha felt the call of the ocean from her earliest days.’
      • ‘Even in an age of mobility, families do their best to gather as extended clans, drawn by the call of Christmas.’
      • ‘She accepted, but it was not long before the call of the great outdoors became irresistible once more.’
      attraction, appeal, lure, allure, allurement, fascination, seductiveness
      View synonyms
  • 7(in sports) a decision or ruling made by an umpire or other official, traditionally conveyed by a shout, that the ball has gone out of play or that a rule has been breached.

    ‘he was visibly irritated with the umpire's calls’
    • ‘The NBA reviews game videos to determine whether officials' calls are correct.’
    • ‘Refs are only human, and they do make calls within the flow of a game.’
    • ‘The South Africans were at the receiving end of at least two bad calls.’
    • ‘Officials have come under heavy fire the last few weeks in the wake of a couple of controversial calls in the playoffs.’
    • ‘Why can't each manager have the opportunity to have three close plays reviewed per game in order to have the right calls made?’
    • ‘Consistency in the calls from one game to the next should improve.’
    • ‘There have been controversial late-game calls in the last two games.’
    • ‘They know the home team expects favorable judgments, that they are expected to neutralize bad calls with makeup calls.’
    • ‘Hockey very rarely has a glaring officiating error, and the calls made are almost always supported by replay.’
    • ‘Referees are not going to stop the game to look at foul calls or out-of-bounds rulings.’
    • ‘There is no shortage of bad calls during the season, but in the playoffs the importance is magnified.’
    • ‘In fact, according to coaches, officials are deciding games with reckless calls.’
    • ‘For the first time in his career, he is getting the benefit of the doubt from officials on questionable calls.’
    • ‘This baseball team has benefited from more bad calls than any team in memory.’
    • ‘Not having replay is bad, considering the number of botched calls in the average game.’
    • ‘It's good for the game when bad calls can be corrected on the field.’
    • ‘We all want the calls to be right, and the officials have to feel better knowing they have a safety net beneath them.’
    • ‘Some like to see the game played without many calls; some like to call the penalties.’
    • ‘We had some calls go against us, we weren't shooting the ball really well, even though we were getting great shots.’
    • ‘Whereas bad weather, bad calls, and bad luck are completely uncoachable, a lack of discipline can be solved.’
    1. 7.1A decision, judgement, or prediction.
      ‘personally, I'm all in favor, but it's your call’
      ‘that entrepreneurial instinct may account for his ability to make tough calls when profits are at stake’
      ‘the two old foes are so evenly matched that it's anyone's call’
      • ‘Like so many others after a few drinks, he made a bad judgment call.’
      • ‘I can use the help, but this is my call to make.’
      • ‘They have to make a call in a split second.’
      • ‘No wonder the company didn't invest into 3D, great call.’
      • ‘Whether you sell early to cash in on the frenzy or sell later based on concrete information, it's your call, so don't give in to panic.’
      • ‘Once you know what to look for, making the right call will start to come naturally.’
      • ‘Before you start complaining about why other recruiting services aren't used, that's not my call.’
      • ‘The organization said selecting Los Angeles as their first-ever City of the Year was a pretty easy call.’
      • ‘Your and your spouse's plans for your estate can be identical or entirely dissimilar; it's your call.’
      • ‘Become fully informed consumers, knowledgeable enough to challenge doctors who make questionable diagnostic calls.’
      • ‘The first elimination is always a very tough call.’
      • ‘The PM will make her call on that in her own way.’
  • 8Computing
    A command to execute a subroutine.

    ‘parameter values may be changed by calls to a special purpose input specification subroutine’
    • ‘One direct method to utilize the kernel is for a process to execute a system call.’
    • ‘That means, the call to a subroutine must be on its program line rather than somewhere in an expression.’
    • ‘As shown in the figure, there is a value pushed for each call to the routine.’
    • ‘A code element issues a call to the first routine.’
    • ‘To be safe you can use the keyword before any subroutine call even if the subroutine is already defined.’
  • 9Finance
    A demand for payment of lent or unpaid capital.

    • ‘The bank could issue the contingent capital component of its planned £7.8 billion capital call as early as this summer, according to debt bankers.’
    • ‘Conceptually, an overdraft is repayable at call or on demand, whereas a loan is granted for a fixed period of time.’
    • ‘With potential bank losses barely covered by the European Stability Mechanism's 60 billion euros of bank rescue funds, what might happen when banks admit this can't continue, and loan losses trigger new capital calls?’
    1. 9.1Stock Market
      short for call option
      • ‘The rule for creating synthetics is that the strike price and expiration date of the calls and puts must be identical.’
      • ‘Option traders use calls and puts to hedge risks and exploit volatility.’
      • ‘Shareholders are still suing Wall Street firms for too-bullish calls.’
      • ‘Put options should increase in value and calls should drop as the stock price falls.’
      • ‘By tracking the daily and weekly volume of puts and calls in the U.S. stock market, we can gauge the feelings of traders.’
  • 10US [as modifier] (in a bar, club, etc.) denoting or made with relatively expensive brands of liquor which customers request by name.

    ‘$6 call liquor drinks’
    Compare with well
    • ‘Call brand liquors include Absolut Vodka, Seagrams Gin, and Jim Beam.’
    • ‘Drinks are pricy for the area, but then I can't remember purchasing a call drink for $6 so I suppose $9-$10 is reasonable?’
    • ‘Some caterers will offer Jim Beam Bourbon as a house/well brand and Jack Daniel's as a call brand.’
    • ‘You can upgrade to call drinks for an additional $10.’
    • ‘The call liquors are the name brand booze that sit up on a shelf for everyone to see.’
    • ‘These different vodka brands can be grouped by their price into three categories: well (the cheapest), call, and premium.’


  • call attention to

    • Cause people to notice.

      ‘he is seeking to call attention to himself by his crimes’
      • ‘In my opinion, it called attention to what Allied forces were up against and might well have inspired them to renewed efforts against a worthy opponent.’
      • ‘But I think the part I admire the most is that he did it without really announcing it or calling attention to it.’
      • ‘Sleeveless, short or cap sleeves or tight sleeves call attention to, and display, the arms.’
      • ‘He rarely calls attention to himself, rarely grandstands, but usually does it what it takes to get the job done.’
      • ‘Too often in the longer book, the writing calls attention to itself and distracts from the story.’
      • ‘Don't say or do anything to call attention to it, and Matt might not even notice.’
      • ‘The way they sell new dictionaries is by calling attention to all the new words they've located.’
      • ‘They also preferred to use behavioral strategies that redirected, rather than called attention to, problem behaviors.’
      • ‘I yelled out to call attention to what was going on (at the same time wondering how smart I was to get involved).’
      • ‘Feminist voices critically called attention to the relationship between sexism and male violence.’
      publicize, make public, make known, give publicity to, bill, post, announce, broadcast, proclaim, trumpet, shout from the rooftops, give notice of, call attention to, promulgate
      View synonyms
  • call someone's bluff

    • 1Challenge someone thought to be bluffing.

      ‘she was tempted to call his bluff, hardly believing he'd carry out his threat’
      • ‘Or, what if we called their bluff and didn't give them the money and see what happens then?’
      • ‘He had called her bluff, and she had met his challenge head on.’
      • ‘In a very real sense, I think the big commercial publishers now are clearly calling our bluff.’
      • ‘I think furiously, she's calling my bluff, I'll push even further’
      • ‘Transfolk, increasingly numerous, loud and proud, are calling our bluff.’
      • ‘I called his bluff, expecting him to laugh - to turn around and leave.’
      • ‘His premise is that Democrats are ‘aghast’ at the president's ‘new’ Social Security proposal because he ‘has finally called their bluff.’’
      • ‘In effect, where polluters had previously argued that emission control was too expensive, the new system called their bluff.’
      • ‘And it's about time someone from the conservative side of politics called their bluff.’
      • ‘In this case, the concerned students have called the publication 's bluff, pointing out that consideration for the larger community was not taken when the ‘back door’ article was produced.’
      • ‘And should it respond by accommodating its demands, or by calling its bluff?’
      • ‘But now that we know people are doing this, it's time for us to start calling their bluff: You aren't really talking to anyone are you?’
      • ‘If you gave because you liked the site, or even just wanted to humiliate me by calling my bluff, you're free to leave it - but believe me, I would not fault you in the slightest for asking for your money back.’
      • ‘Right or wrong, some of the guards called their bluff, and we can learn from that.’
      • ‘Just as the sailor will bring lively tales of adventure, he may also be able to ferret out falsehoods and call deceivers' bluffs, because he has gained wisdom from life's challenges and insights into human nature.’
      • ‘Over the past few weeks, the president has called their bluff.’
      • ‘The bluff was called and it was game back on as players hastily deserted favourite watering holes.’
      • ‘Two idealistic activists, however, called his bluff.’
      • ‘For these emotions to work, they must have a kind of inevitability built into them, such that, when someone calls your bluff, you cannot avoid carrying out your promise or threat.’
      • ‘When anybody calls their bluff and punctures this self-delusion, they can only cope by insulting and vilifying their critics.’
    • 2(in poker or brag) make an opponent show their hand in order to reveal that its value is weaker than their heavy betting suggests.

      • ‘I called his bluff correctly though and I ended up getting all the chips back off him and knocking him out so was all good in the end.’
      • ‘One company has called the other's bluff and laid down on the table four Kings - four of a kind.’
      • ‘There were two reasons why I called his bluff.’
      • ‘When not daring an opponent to call his bluff, he seduced them.’
      • ‘I'm just a little disappointed that it went this far to play poker and to have someone call your bluff.’
  • call collect

    • Make a telephone call reversing the charges.

      • ‘What do you mean, ‘Why don't I just call collect?‘’
      • ‘From countries where toll-free calls are not available, customers are able to call collect.’
      • ‘Don't accept gifts from strangers or call someone, even if they invite you to call collect.’
      • ‘You will also have your own phone from which long distance calls can be made by calling collect or using a charge card.’
      • ‘You could call collect but you had to pay for your calls, either way.’
      • ‘You called collect to tell us about your new dog?’
      • ‘My arrangement with this aunt is that she calls me or if I need to call her I call collect and then she calls me back.’
      • ‘They charge extra money to inmates who call collect to their families.’
      • ‘I'm sorry I had to call collect, but I have news.’
      • ‘A prison social worker said that prisoners may call collect on pay telephones inside the prison.’
  • call something into play

    • Cause or require something to start working so that one can make use of it.

      ‘our active participation as spectators is called into play’
      • ‘To save time and effort, we'll put that part into a separate file and just call it into play when we need it.’
      • ‘For legs, it's the same thing - you have to call the secondary muscles into play to put maximum pressure on the thighs.’
      • ‘He created what was called a ‘subroutine’ for each note, then called them into play, as needed.’
      • ‘As the muscles of the athlete or the fingers of the craftsman become fit or skillful through constant exercise, so the spiritual graces of the new man are developed by regularly calling them into play.’
      • ‘These companies charge several hundred to several thousand dollars for their services, so it would be wise for you to have an idea of exactly what you need before calling them into play.’
  • call something into (or in) question

    • Cast doubt on something.

      ‘these findings call into question the legitimacy of the proceedings’
      • ‘It was the second time that her victory was called into question.’
      • ‘My honesty has been called into question and it has made me look like a criminal.’
      • ‘The sanity of the captain is called into question.’
      • ‘Integrity is one of the cornerstones upon which reliable journalism is based, and, when it is called into question, we begin to doubt everything we read in newspapers and magazines and see on television.’
      • ‘Yet in recent years this victory has been called into question.’
      • ‘People are very much offended that their patriotism has been called into question.’
      • ‘But in recent months, the future of the project has been called into question.’
      • ‘She has filed a civil lawsuit which, of course, calls her motives into question.’
      • ‘Apparently, these concerns had been raised before, even by an outfit whose reliability as a watchdog has been called into question recently.’
      • ‘He is furious that his good name has been called into question.’
      doubt, distrust, mistrust, suspect, lack confidence in, have doubts about, be suspicious of, have suspicions about, have misgivings about, feel uneasy about, feel apprehensive about, cast doubt on, query, question, challenge, dispute, have reservations about
      View synonyms
  • call it a day

    • End a period of activity, especially resting content that enough has been done.

      ‘we were prepared to do another long march before calling it a day’
      • ‘An hour or so later, Kelley and Eben had decided to call it a day and get to bed.’
      • ‘After a few more takes Stanley wisely decided to call it a day.’
      • ‘But poorish health and frustration with the constant squabbling at the academy made him decide to call it a day.’
      • ‘It's not a fun job, scanning negatives, and I decided to call it a day when I'd finished the first film.’
      • ‘An hour or so of being battered by wind and rain, with only one small fish each, we decided to call it a day.’
      • ‘The group called it a day after Charlie Simpson decided to leave.’
      • ‘The shopkeepers also downed their shutters and the other establishments also decided to call it a day.’
      • ‘Worn out by years of struggling for proper financing, she decided to call it a day.’
      • ‘It was when Alvar hit his head on a low branch that overhung the trail that they decided to call it a day.’
      • ‘But what is certain is that when these two great champions do decide to call it a day, the game of tennis will be all the poorer for it.’
      • ‘However, at 52 he has decided to call it a day and let his colleagues carry on the work.’
      • ‘After two years of getting up at 6am he decided to call it a day.’
      • ‘Our legs were beginning to ache so we decided to call it a day.’
      • ‘And at 60 for two, with 13 overs of play still scheduled, both sides agreed to call it a day.’
      • ‘We were late arrivals and calling it a day, we decided just after midnight to put our heads down for the night.’
      • ‘She has spent over forty years looking after the people of Kildavin and decided to call it a day.’
      • ‘We decided to call it a day and wend our way back to York by as many country lanes as possible.’
      • ‘At this point, late in the afternoon, I decided to call it a day and head back to camp.’
      • ‘After half a century of haircutting, an Amesbury salon owner has decided to hang up his scissors and call it a day.’
      • ‘With the wind increasing, the heavy rain being blown in my face I decided to call it a day.’
      admit defeat, concede defeat, stop trying, give up, give in, surrender, capitulate, be beaten
      despair, lose heart, abandon hope, give up hope
      throw in the sponge, throw in the towel
      drop one's bundle
      View synonyms
  • call someone names

    • Insult someone verbally.

      • ‘It's ok to call them names and insult every one of them.’
      • ‘I use the analogy that if you come to stay in another's house, you do not turn round and abuse their hospitality and call them names.’
      • ‘It hurts every time I am called names and insulted by virtual strangers.’
      • ‘Bullying can be mental like completely ignoring and excluding someone and can also be verbal like calling someone names.’
      • ‘Some people might make fun of them, or call them names, or even hurt them.’
      • ‘Yet I don't care what names I call him cause I don't feel any remorse in calling him names or insulting him.’
      • ‘The way he would tease her, call her names and insult the fact that she was Indian.’
      • ‘She called me names, insulted me in front of my face, talked about me constantly, got her new friends to do the same as well.’
      • ‘A school bully might push you out of your seat, kick you when your back is turned, demand lunch money, threaten or insult you, call you names, or make jokes about you.’
      • ‘You ignored me, you called me names, you gave me the cold shoulder, remember?’
      offend, cause offence to, give offence to, affront, abuse, be rude to, call someone names, slight, disparage, discredit, libel, slander, malign, defame, denigrate, cast aspersions on, impugn, slur, revile, calumniate
      View synonyms
  • call of nature

    • Used euphemistically to refer to a need to urinate or defecate.

      • ‘It's lucky the car was not towed away: that would have cost £200, as happened to a cab driver I met later, who had parked for two minutes to answer a call of nature.’
      • ‘The pedigree seal point cat left the house as usual to answer a call of nature, but didn't return home.’
      • ‘Visitors attending to a call of nature in one South Lakeland village this week are in for a treat as the community unveiled its lovingly restored public toilet.’
      • ‘As he staggered up Victoria Road, Charles stopped to answer a call of nature.’
      • ‘Although yesterday's driveway incident didn't keep me awake last night it did cross my mind a couple of times when I got up to answer the call of nature.’
      • ‘The Tour's unspoken code of conduct dictates that the race leader, when answering a call of nature, shall not be subjected to attacks or breakaways.’
      • ‘Probably many of us have experienced the great annoyance you feel when suddenly you have to answer an urgent call of nature while out on the street yet you are unable to find a decent washroom.’
      • ‘This vehicle's driver stopped to attend to a call of nature, and I have simply borrowed his taxi for a short time.’
      • ‘We hunters and campers also need a quality light, even if our purpose is only to keep from tripping on the tent ropes when answering a midnight call of nature.’
      • ‘I did a quick escape at the end to answer a pressing call of nature.’
      • ‘All the trains toilets were ‘out of order’ so it had an extended stop at each of the ten stops en-route to London for passengers to get off, answer the call of nature and get back on again.’
      • ‘Even if you managed to heat your house, you would still have to brave the elements to answer a call of nature in a freezing outside loo.’
  • call the shots (or tune)

    • Take the initiative in deciding how something should be done.

      ‘we believe in parents and teachers calling the shots’
      • ‘Interview those who own or manage the media and they will tell you that today it's the readership or viewership that calls the shots.’
      • ‘He quoted the proverb ‘He who pays the piper, calls the tune, ‘but noted, ‘I think we are very strong on the issue that they mustn't tell us what is good for us.’
      • ‘In return, the new recruits are willing to do anything for the man who calls the shots.’
      • ‘We would love to know, Mr. Prime Minister, since for all practical purposes your Government still calls the shots on this supposedly autonomous corporation.’
      • ‘The car sales staff can chat away all they like to the man about brake, horsepower and top speeds but it's really the woman who calls the shots.’
      • ‘Increasingly in shaping our foreign policy priorities it is the media which calls the shots.’
      • ‘The taxpayer pays the piper, but the sponsor calls the tune.’
      • ‘In the economy, however, it is always big capital that calls the shots.’
      • ‘It's all about getting the initiative and being in a position to call the shots.’
      • ‘Early on it was unclear who was really calling the shots.’
      be in charge, be in control, be in command, be the boss, be at the helm, be in the driving seat, be at the wheel, be in the saddle, pull the strings, hold the purse strings
      run the show, rule the roost
      wear the trousers
      View synonyms
  • call a spade a spade

    • Speak plainly without avoiding unpleasant or embarrassing issues.

      • ‘So at one level this is an issue of clarity; the simple business of calling a spade a spade.’
      • ‘After a while, we started to talk and I began to like him, because he's funny and he's straightforward and he calls a spade a spade.’
      • ‘And the president should not be criticized for being a straight shooter and calling a spade a spade.’
      • ‘She has people rooting for her in this country simply because she calls a spade a spade.’
      • ‘Given the enormous amount of evidence that supports that conclusion, I just don't think it's reasonable to say that calling a spade a spade in this case is ‘hackneyed, inappropriate and immature.’’
      • ‘It's high time people started calling a spade a spade.’
      • ‘A source described him as extremely straightforward, somebody who calls a spade a spade and has no hidden agenda.’
      • ‘They had the greatest difficulty in calling a spade a spade or a killing a killing: rather it was ‘expressing violence’.’
      • ‘He called a spade a spade and in many ways was an archetypal Yorkshireman - blunt and straight to the point.’
      • ‘Finally a report that calls a spade a spade on the country's dangerous love affair with the demon drink.’
      insensitive, inconsiderate, thoughtless, unthinking, indelicate, undiplomatic, impolitic, indiscreet, unsubtle, clumsy, heavy-handed, graceless, awkward, unpolished, inept, bungling, maladroit, gauche, undiscerning, unsophisticated
      View synonyms
  • call someone to account

  • call someone/something to mind

    • 1Cause one to think of someone or something, especially through similarity.

      ‘the still lifes call to mind certain of Cézanne's works’
      • ‘At other points his guitar work briefly calls organs to mind.’
      • ‘But some of the weird writing calls that composer to mind, especially in the more reflective moments of the second movement.’
      • ‘Her work conjures up such a non-factual set of moments that altered states, or dream states are called to mind.’
      • ‘It's not about these people, but there are things in it that call them to mind.’
      evoke, put one in mind of, recall, bring to mind, call up, summon up, conjure up
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1[with negative]Remember someone or something.
        [with clause] ‘I cannot call to mind where I have seen you’
        • ‘There's another old adage there, too, but I can't call it to mind just now.’
        • ‘As Sigmund Freud suggested long ago, memories are themselves recast every time they are called to mind.’
        • ‘If you think about somebody you know who's very generous, even if they haven't given to you directly, what does it feel like if you call this person to mind?’
        • ‘‘Honourable Sirs, I have early this morning witnessed a crime of revolting sort’ he paused trying to call the rest to mind.’
        • ‘As we call our lifetime to mind we recognize no unbroken sequence of events, but rather episodes that chart our memory with the markers of ‘before’ and ‘after.’’
        • ‘All of us have done things in our lives we'd rather not have done, things that flood us with remorse or pain or embarrassment whenever we call them to mind.’
        • ‘She did not know how long she had been fighting, nor did she wish to call it to mind.’
        • ‘There's doubtless an equally irritating homily about spring-cleaning in the garden, too, but fortunately I can't call it to mind.’
        • ‘Draco looked pensive as his previous behaviour was called to mind.’
        • ‘Modest, common country garden perennial flowers, both of them, and I'm ashamed to say I simply cannot call their names to mind.’
        remember, recall, recollect, think
        View synonyms
  • call someone/something to order

    • Ask those present at a meeting to be silent so that business may proceed.

      • ‘The clang of a gong calls the bilingual sessions to order, and proceedings operate according to a precise set of rules adapted from those of the British Parliament.’
      • ‘He looked around the room to ensure all his key players were present, then called the meeting to order.’
      • ‘She sat stiffly in the office chair, like an executive calling a boardroom to order.’
      • ‘I remember nervously calling the meeting to order, wondering what our full day of dialogue would bring.’
      • ‘Scott is now taking the podium to call the audience to order.’
      • ‘I have called the members to order, and I ask them to desist.’
      • ‘Alex called the board to order, and everyone fell silent.’
      • ‘The public hearing for the road closure was called to order although no members of the public had shown up.’
      • ‘Imagine that the CEO of a major corporation has just called a meeting to order, and one of the board members makes a motion to discuss a proposed acquisition.’
      • ‘The town crier called the proceedings to order.’
  • don't call us, we'll call you

    • informal Used as a dismissive way of saying that someone has not been successful in an audition or a job application.

      • ‘You can't walk five meters in a straight line… don't call us, we'll call you.’
      • ‘After the first audition there was a two-week period when it was a case of don't call us, we'll call you.’
      • ‘Thank you, thank you, I've got the picture: don't call us, we'll call you.’
      • ‘His e-mail read like a ‘thank you for your interest, but don't call us, we'll call you,’ form letter.’
  • good call (or bad call)

    • informal Used to express approval (or criticism) of a person's decision or suggestion.

      • ‘He was very agitated and concerned, and on several occasions he said to me it was a very bad call and he obviously realised he had made a very significant error.’
      • ‘We skipped the D & D 30th Anniversary party in favor of sleep, which was a good call.’
      • ‘They made a choice to not do that and to take the big fire engine which shaved off a lot of time and it was a good call because they were able to get to me that much sooner.’
      • ‘The authorities may have made a bad call on some of the cases, but that doesn't give those tenants a constitutional case.’
      • ‘The decision to keep interest rates unchanged looks like a good call.’
      • ‘We made a good call early on by not pitting on that first stop and it paid-off.’
      • ‘He admitted he was wrong - that he made a bad call.’
      • ‘Medical staff deal with a constant flow of difficult decisions and, occasionally, they make what appears to be a bad call.’
      • ‘We think it would be a bad call politically for her to run in 2004, but what a difference it would make in the race.’
      • ‘Deservedly they both received posthumous Medals of Honor, but the question has to be asked whether it was a good call by their leaders to send two men to almost certain death without being able to provide follow-up support.’
  • on call

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

      ‘our technicians are on call around the clock’
      • ‘There is an emergency ski patrol service on call 24 hours a day.’
      • ‘If a physical exam is to be done the physician on call will be contacted.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Top marks also to all who remained on duty, or on call, over the festive period.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Generally, these caregivers work year round with no vacation and are on call 24 hours a day.’
      • ‘I am on call today and went in to do my ward round earlier.’
      • ‘If she is not on duty, she is on call so that she can respond around the clock to patients' needs.’
      • ‘The team is on call 24 hours-a-day, and is trained in resuscitation techniques and how to use live-saving defibrillators.’
      on duty, on standby, standing by, ready, available
      View synonyms
    • 2(of money lent) repayable on demand.

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

    • Used to describe something that one can genuinely feel belongs to one.

      ‘I had not an item to call my own’
      • ‘The club is for the youth of the area and the youth group will endeavour to provide a safe environment for them, where they can have fun and a venue to call their own.’
      • ‘Ideally the Youth Club would love to have a place to call their own where they could store equipment and project work.’
      • ‘There were hundreds of people living along the coastline who suddenly did not have anything to call their own.’
      • ‘Village youths could be given a place to call their own and to hang out with their friends.’
      • ‘The group desperately need premises to call their own, somewhere to store all their equipment, to have freedom of rehearsal times and a place to feel comfortable in.’
      • ‘Numerous extensions and conversions later, they now have a substantial seven-bedroom home, so everyone has a room to call their own.’
      • ‘We don't have a sofa, a coffee table, a mirror, a desk - not a stick of furniture to call our own.’
      • ‘While this dispute continues, Isobel can only wrap up her children up as best she can, and hope that they will soon have a home to call their own.’
      • ‘The teenagers simply wanted a space to call their own.’
      • ‘On the most frigid day of this year, the restaurant overflows with penniless customers who make a cup of coffee last all day because they don't have a job to go to or a home to call their own.’
  • within call

    • Near enough to be summoned by calling.

      ‘she moved into the guest room, within call of her father's room’
      • ‘He had retired discreetly to the doorway, ready within call should Master need anything.’
      • ‘How many people may there be in London, who, if we had brought them deviously and blindfolded, to this street, fifty paces from the Station House, and within call of St. Giles's church, would know it for a not remote part of the city in which their lives are passed?’
      • ‘She might call for help if he attempted again as neighbors lived within call.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • call for

    • 1Make necessary.

      ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’
      • ‘It calls for tough and focussed decisions and no soft and vague measures.’
      • ‘It does not necessarily call for a large investment to implement it.’
      • ‘This is a sensitive area which I must draw to your attention and feel it calls for some action before it causes more distress.’
      • ‘This condition calls for urgent medical attention at any time of the day or night.’
      • ‘FBI policy calls for an investigation whenever an agent fires a weapon.’
      • ‘Where safety calls for drastic measures such as bollards to be installed, then fixed bollards should be the method used.’
      • ‘Desperate times such as these call for the celebration of small victories such as this.’
      • ‘I think a sense of proportion is called for here.’
      • ‘The production schedule would call for filming a total of 100 episodes in just two years.’
      • ‘The alleged plan called for the two men to pretend that he was a hostage.’
      require, need, necessitate, make necessary, demand
      View synonyms
    • 2Publicly ask for or demand.

      ‘the report calls for an audit of endangered species’
      • ‘Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issued separate statements calling for more government action to protect lives.’
      • ‘Councilman Kenney, among others, called for a review of the city's demolition application and inspection process.’
      • ‘Senate Democrats also pointed out that they had been calling for a bipartisan conference for months, a request that had been brushed off by House Republicans.’
      • ‘The companies also called for more transparency and for limits on surveillance.’
      • ‘The report calls for a dramatic restructuring of how aid is allotted in the region.’
      • ‘The basic issues were all spelled out, even before the Security Council resolution calling for a land-for-peace settlement.’
      • ‘The report also called for more research on fluoride and the implications for child health.’
      • ‘It calls for the National Audit Office to conduct an urgent scrutiny of the value for money tests.’
      • ‘The President called for $10 million to be spent on researching violent media as well as its correlation to gun violence.’
      • ‘The US way is to call for stricter laws, harsher conditions and longer sentences.’
      require, need, necessitate, make necessary, demand
      View synonyms
    • 3Predict or describe (the likely weather conditions) for a period of time in the future.

      ‘the forecast is calling for more rain’
      ‘they're calling for temperatures in the 80s for the rest of the week’
      • ‘Here in Chicago, they are calling for some cold temperatures and snow for the next two days, all of which has me making plans to stay inside all weekend long.’
      • ‘The forecast called for more rain through the day Sunday, which could hamper rescuers trying to reach all of the far-flung areas that have been affected.’
      • ‘After a few weeks, with the weather outlook not calling for any snow for the foreseeable future, I went ahead and swapped back to the summer tires.’
      • ‘Forecasters are calling for a storm surge of between 6 and 14 feet for Eleuthera and Grand Bahama Islands.’
      • ‘The weather in Banff unexpectedly changed to warm, but the forecast is calling for cold and snow for the weekend.’
      • ‘Egads … the weather forecast for Friday is calling for snow.’
      • ‘Although the weather forecast called for rain, the weather was great throughout the whole race.’
      • ‘They're calling for a wintry mix, which should be just lovely!’
      • ‘They are calling for 6-12 inches total by tomorrow morning in the far northern Chicago suburbs.’
      • ‘Weather forecasts called for heavy rains July 12 in Indianapolis, thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Dennis.’
      • ‘They're calling for a high of 43 in Park City and 50 in Salt Lake.’
    • 4Stop to pick up (someone) at the place where they are living or working.

      ‘I'll call for you around seven’
      • ‘A car would call for her at four o'clock on Friday.’
      • ‘A new house and a new friend: he called for me and said he would show me around.’
      • ‘I will call for you tonight at 6.30.’
      • ‘He called for me at my hotel and took me to the beach after dawn next morning.’
      • ‘He had a friend call for him at his office and together they walked to the coffee house.’
      • ‘I called for you so we could meet the man that Karl referred to as his friend.’
      • ‘She was discovered by a neighbour who called for her on the way to Sunday Mass.’
      • ‘I will call for you at three.’
      • ‘When her friends knocked at the door to call for her, her mum became frantic with worry.’
      pick up, collect, fetch, come to get, go to get, come for
      View synonyms
  • call something forth

    • Elicit a response.

      ‘few things call forth more compassion’
      • ‘Today, many of the jokes are dated, but the raucous satirical tone still hits a nerve and calls forth countless contemporary associations.’
      • ‘To any professional pianist the name Maurice Hinson calls forth a number of images: meticulous scholar, prolific author, inspiring lecturer.’
      • ‘The situations she chooses make for dramatic scenarios that call forth genuine emotional responses.’
      • ‘The setting and circumstances on the island call forth the ideas of departure, regret, and the allure of the superficial.’
      • ‘A meal high in carbs calls forth a rush of insulin which can overshoot the required amount, lowering blood glucose too much, making you hungry again.’
      • ‘Lower manning levels have called forth the need for more flexible job descriptions so that fewer employees can cover all the previous jobs.’
      • ‘This was the use of psychology in economics that, when it was employed by Proudhon, called forth a rebuke from Marx!’
      • ‘The rise of essentially trivial pastimes should not call forth a moral panic.’
      • ‘Her memory is astounding, calling forth an endless stream of anecdotes.’
      • ‘Sometimes even the most harmless remark about America would call forth very sharp replies from him.’
  • call someone/something down

    • 1Cause or provoke someone or something to appear or occur.

      ‘nothing called down the wrath of Nemesis quicker’
      • ‘His Religion within the Boundaries of Pure Reason (1793) called down on him the censure of the government.’
      • ‘The best architects have always understood that we can call down divine fire, focus community, make a place for home.’
      • ‘For many of the villagers, if Allah can be called down into the human world, so can the spirits of the dead.’
      • ‘The murder of a stranger who entered somebody's house for shelter would call down the anger of the gods.’
      • ‘All I can think about is what a failure I am and that I am disobeying God and calling his wrath down on me.’
      • ‘In some cases, you'll find yourself in the midst of a pitched battle from which you can call down any number of WMDs.’
      • ‘It was a way of calling down the judgment of God if the words spoken were false.’
      • ‘The poems were gathered together in a volume called The British Album, and they were deemed disturbing enough to call down several satirical attacks.’
    • 2Reprimand someone.

      ‘he called down Clarence Drum about being so high and mighty’
      • ‘Who do these holier-than-thou types think they are, calling me down?’
      • ‘When she got carried away and started to show genuine anger and aggression, the Captain called her down.’
      • ‘She was a good student, and she couldn't figure out why she was called down.’
      • ‘They sat down and everyone started asking Katrina what she was called down for.’
      • ‘When Joyce gets paranoid about his talent as a writer, he takes it out on Nora, throwing her past in her face and calling her down for being married before.’
      reprimand, rebuke, admonish, chastise, chide, upbraid, reprove, reproach, scold, remonstrate with, berate, take to task, pull up, castigate, lambaste, read someone the riot act, give someone a piece of one's mind, haul over the coals, lecture, criticize, censure
      View synonyms
  • call someone in

    • Enlist someone's aid or services.

      ‘you can either do the work yourself or call in a local builder to help you’
      • ‘The National Criminal Intelligence Service has been called in, along with a Metropolitan Police team specialising in tracking down fugitives.’
      • ‘Experts from The Pigeon Control Advisory Service were called in two years ago and visited the town again just before Christmas.’
      • ‘Normally we are called in to provide an emergency service.’
      • ‘When the government needs them at times like this, they pick up the phone and they call them in.’
      • ‘A company can call her in for a morning to measure up its sales staff, or a group of colleagues can book her for a couple of hours.’
      • ‘She's called in the government to do more to stop unscrupulous companies selling prescription drugs on the Internet.’
      • ‘Extra firefighters were called in as the fire spread.’
      • ‘A local referee was called in to inspect the pitch at 12.30 pm and deemed it unplayable.’
      • ‘Law enforcement authorities discovered lab equipment and other "suspicious" material in the house, and then called in the FBI.’
      • ‘Lt. Murphy calls him in on cases that don't seem to make any sense.’
      • ‘Said James, the policewoman assigned to the case promised to call on them late Sunday afternoon.’
      call, call for, call in, summon, ask to come, request, request the attendance of, request the presence of, order, contact, fetch
      View synonyms
  • call something in

    • Require payment of a loan or promise of money.

      ‘the bank would call in loans and foreign donations’
      • ‘Our social club owed the brewery money and they were calling it in.’
      • ‘Our losses were so high that our loans were called in.’
      • ‘Bolivia was told that if coca production didn't cease entirely by 2000, aid packages would stop and the loans would be called in.’
      • ‘Others blame the owners of established resorts, who may have pressed banks to call in loans to their red-hot competitor.’
      • ‘His biggest lender had just called in its loan.’
      • ‘The bank was on the brink of calling in the debt.’
      • ‘Such a loss, it is argued, would prompt America's creditors to start calling in the debt.’
      • ‘Workers who took out preferential loans to buy cars will be badly hit if their loans are called in by the firm's liquidators.’
      • ‘The only circumstances in which they could call in all outstanding debts would be in the event of their own disbandment.’
      • ‘His employer, hearing of his speeches, sacked him as his steward and called in unpaid debts.’
  • call someone/something off

    • Order a person or dog to stop attacking someone.

      ‘Gunda pleaded with him to call the dog off’
      • ‘The Italian attack was called off, and it was time to move against France, so I resumed control of my unit and ordered it to Burgundy.’
      • ‘He called off the attackers.’
      • ‘The government called off helicopters sent to attack the rebel militia, averting a threatened rebel offensive.’
      • ‘Its owners were watching my dog attack their horse, while I was trying to call her off.’
      • ‘‘Call your dog off,’ Lucy said calmly.’
      • ‘She grabbed my throat, but before she could act further, the woman behind her called her off with a harsh, ‘Stop!’’
      • ‘The hounds were called off, regrouped and the oldest hunt in England set off on a new trail.’
      • ‘The dogs wanted to follow, but Maria called them off.’
      • ‘He stood and watched while the dogs attacked and made no attempt to call them off.’
  • call something off

    • Cancel an event or agreement.

      ‘they held a ballot on whether to call off industrial action’
      • ‘But their protest was called off while they waited on the results of negotiations with the union representative at Fawley.’
      • ‘An Army spokesman said that due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’ the event had been called off indefinitely.’
      • ‘Jack momentarily considers calling off the wedding but eventually slinks back to LA with his tail between his legs.’
      • ‘As the friends argue, other problems surface: Ian's doubts about his impending wedding, which his friends urge him to call off.’
      • ‘The firm called off takeover talks last November because the price discussed was not satisfactory.’
      • ‘They were surprised to find that the strike had been called off and that an agreement had been struck supporting a two-tier wage.’
      • ‘Just four days before the event was due to take place the Village Business Association called it off.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, we had a lot of bad weather recently and an extraordinary amount of games were called off.’
      • ‘But the final deal was never done and last month negotiations were called off.’
      • ‘Within hours of calling off the deal, however, he was working to make the same idea happen, this time as a private company.’
      cancel, abandon, shelve, scrap, drop, mothball
      axe, scrub, scratch, nix
      View synonyms
  • call on

    • 1Pay a visit to (someone)

      ‘he's planning to call on Katherine today’
      • ‘Anyone visiting a friend or acquaintance is expected to call on everyone they know in the same neighborhood.’
      • ‘Thereafter I made it a point to call on him on all my visits to Delhi.’
      • ‘He called on me during his last visit to Accra and we discussed varied issues relating to Africa.’
      • ‘John calls on Mrs. Jennings, and after his visit, he goes on a walk with Elinor.’
      • ‘Half a dozen or so guests are coming to call on me and maybe extend it to a visit in a few day's time.’
      • ‘The policewoman assigned to the case promised to call on them late Sunday afternoon.’
      • ‘We were living in Switzerland, and Toni would call on us whenever he visited the country.’
      • ‘She also called on her legislator during her brief visit to capital.’
      • ‘He then calls on Eustacia, asking her to marry him.’
      • ‘He visited a Kyoto temple, called on a professor from his alma mater in Kyoto and paid tribute to a Japanese author.’
      visit, pay a visit to, pay a call on, go and see, look in on
      View synonyms
    • 2Have recourse to.

      ‘we are able to call on academic staff with a wide variety of expertise’
      • ‘Now her dad is calling on her musical talents to keep his customers in good spirits on December 11.’
      • ‘Schools that need a helping hand will be able to call on volunteers to help in their activities.’
      • ‘A great many collectors from the upper aristocracy or rich middle classes called on her skill.’
      • ‘Under the proposals, a senior nurse would then be able to call on more staff at short notice than is possible at present.’
      • ‘He will be able to call on the multinational forces, if he deems it necessary to have them deal with a problem.’
      • ‘United called on all their reserves of energy and battled back to equalise just before full time.’
      • ‘But Kelvin will be able to call on some family history to help him play the role.’
      • ‘It was all very new to us all and called on all our skills.’
      • ‘The largest part of the market remains untapped since most companies prefer to handle their own security issues, rather than calling on external forces.’
      • ‘He'll be calling on those hard-earned inner resources often in this sport.’
      have recourse to, avail oneself of, turn to, draw on, look to, make use of, use, utilize, bring into play
      View synonyms
      1. 2.1[with infinitive]Demand that (someone) do something.
        ‘he called on the government to hold a plebiscite’
        • ‘It does not advocate cash hand-outs to farmers, but instead calls on the Government to adopt a more understanding approach to agriculture.’
        • ‘Farmers are urging the public to sign a petition calling on the Government to tighten controls on illegal imports.’
        • ‘I call on you to stop any protest against progress in the peace process.’
        • ‘Many of them had called on him to step down.’
        • ‘She called on the council to employ someone, even for two or three days a week, to look after the cemetery.’
        • ‘Bosses are calling on their staff to get fit and healthy.’
        • ‘PC Hopson, who is spearheading the scheme to educate drinkers in the city, called on them to take sensible precautions.’
        • ‘Tenants have called on their neighbours and staff to write to their local MP voicing their concerns.’
        • ‘Now residents are calling on local representatives to demand that ramps should be installed on the road.’
        • ‘She is calling on those in power to stop preaching hatred.’
        appeal to, ask, request, apply to, petition
        View synonyms
  • call someone out

    • 1Summon someone, especially to deal with an emergency or to do repairs.

      ‘patients are to be told to stop calling doctors out unnecessarily at night’
      • ‘The cracks were discovered last month after the gas company was called out to deal with an emergency pipe leak.’
      • ‘The school would make headlines six years later, when the Governor called out the Arkansas National Guard to prevent its integration.’
      • ‘The police call out their elite strike force and the fuzz tour the resort for a little evidence tampering.’
      • ‘No need to call out the royal guard; all parties are declared not guilty and are free to go.’
      • ‘When veterinarian Gail McCarthy is called out to the scene there isn't much she can do.’
      • ‘I've had to call the police out a couple of times, and the problem has been and gone over the years, depending on her medication.’
      • ‘Last month we had to call the doctor out because the stress of all this had sent Hilary's muscles into spasm.’
      • ‘Any time there was an emergency, Gus could be called out and his wife and daughters had to fend for themselves.’
      • ‘So, to beat the system, I've requested that we call the electrician out again.’
      • ‘The emergency doctor was called out at 2.15am.’
    • 2Draw critical attention to someone’s unacceptable actions or behavior.

      ‘people were calling him out for his negative comments’
      ‘Dan had called her out on a couple of contradictions in her story’
      ‘she called him on his claim that the media were doing a bad job of covering the economy’
      • ‘The 84-year-old stopped short of apologising for calling Katy out for being late, but said she was sorry if it made her more upset during that sad time.’
      • ‘She gets the whole house riled up, then walks away like nothing happened, and nobody calls her on it.’
      • ‘These bystanders can help mitigate abuse by calling out bullies.’
      • ‘I'm one of those moms that will question their children about things that don't make sense, and call them out on their lies.’
      • ‘Larry didn't call her out on anything during the interview either.’
      • ‘You are the one that keeps twisting what you're saying whenever you are called out on it.’
      • ‘Rip the cloak of secrecy off abuse and openly call out every abuser by name; perhaps some real change would begin.’
      • ‘He essentially just called the team out for being lazy.’
      • ‘The pay's good, and hardly anyone will call you on your decisions when you're wrong.’
      • ‘It's time for audiences to call them out on their hypocrisy and demand better representations of diversity.’
    • 3Order or advise workers to strike.

      • ‘Workers on London's Docklands Light Railway were called out on strike for 24 hours from 6.30 pm on March 25.’
      • ‘The rank and file have been 100 percent solid whenever they have been called out.’
      • ‘We urge the CWU not to call our people out on strike action, which can only hurt our customers.’
      • ‘Unison members in colleges were in disbelief that they had not been called out alongside members of other unions.’
      • ‘About 10,000 members at the bank's branches and call centers around the UK had been called out, a spokesman for the union said.’
      • ‘Nevertheless many of these workers did come out on the national days of action or when local unions called them out, and they solidarised with those who were on strike.’
      • ‘Union members in London are now demanding that they are called out to join the selective action within the next two weeks.’
      • ‘Splinter groups of communists and Trotskyists fought for supremacy on the shop floor, calling workers out on strike and typifying the industrial travails of the time.’
      • ‘‘We'd have torn up our NUJ cards if they called us out on strike,’ said another.’
      • ‘The Fire Brigades Union called its 50,000 members out on strikes last November.’
    • 4Challenge someone to a duel.

      • ‘Steve told Clarence that I called him out, but that he wouldn't fight me.’
      • ‘I'll call him out and we'll settle this once and for all.’
      • ‘I'm pretty sure they each would have stepped up to the challenge if the other had called them out.’
      • ‘When he is called out to fight a duel, Boris cannot pull the trigger.’
      • ‘Your princess was well within her rights to call him out to duel.’
  • call something over

    • Read out a list of names to determine those present.

      ‘a gentleman proceeded to call over the names of the jury’
      • ‘In calling over the list every name is repeated, although three-fourths or more of the boys, whose names are called over, are present.’
      • ‘Under the new Act for regulating the trial of controverted elections, you will, in the discharge of your duty, call over the names in the alphabetical list of Members.’
      • ‘It has been the practice of the House of Commons, on occasions of sufficient importance, to order that the House be called over at a future day.’
      • ‘Charles Mansfield, our third lieutenant, came on deck, and called the list over.’
  • call someone up

    • 1Phone someone.

      ‘I have a list of people to call up in the morning’
      • ‘When I can't get my email, I call them up on the phone and they explain exactly what's wrong and when they expect it to be fixed.’
      • ‘I called Liv up on the phone, and we agreed to meet down by the lake.’
      • ‘The phone hasn't stopped ringing with people calling me up to say how wonderful it looks.’
      • ‘Sensing the rarity of the animal, Meshram closed the door and immediately called up fire brigade personnel.’
      • ‘I'd found her number in the phone book and called her up on the chance that she'd meet me.’
      • ‘A pollster selects a random sample of voters, calls them up on the telephone, and asks who the respondent would vote for if the election were being held today.’
      • ‘He stalks her, following her to the church where she does volunteer work, and even calls her up anonymously on the telephone.’
      • ‘I called up Customer Care again and they promised me a free replacement by tomorrow evening.’
      • ‘When you call up Customer Care, you just get pathetic responses which won't take you anywhere.’
      • ‘He may have even called up Katy to help console him, but that doesn't mean they hooked up.’
      phone, telephone, get on the phone to, get someone on the phone, dial, make a call to, place a call to, get, reach
      phone, telephone, call, get on the phone to, get someone on the phone, dial, make a call to, place a call to, get, reach
      View synonyms
    • 2Summon someone to serve in the army.

      ‘they have called up more than 20,000 reservists’
      • ‘What if there were a reinstatement of the draft and you were called up?’
      • ‘Then the government started conscription and I was called up.’
      • ‘While fishing, Fred asks the bartender if he will go to war when they call up the old men.’
      • ‘Only a year later Doug was called up to serve in the Royal Marines, while Betty went on to serve in the Army.’
      • ‘She was a member of the Territorial Army when she was called up to serve in the last conflict.’
      • ‘He was called up for the Army in 1939 and served in France during the war, and later in the Middle East.’
      • ‘When World War 1 broke out he was called up for the army.’
      • ‘Before becoming a teacher he was called up to do National Service and served in Germany.’
      • ‘His 19-year-old brother Aidan is also in the army and is currently waiting to see if he is called up to serve in the Gulf.’
      • ‘Chuck receives a letter calling him up to the army and refuses to serve.’
      enlist, recruit, sign up
      View synonyms
      1. 2.1Select someone to play on a team, especially at a higher level of competition.
        ‘he was called up from Columbus to finish the season with the Yankees’
        • ‘He was called up and scored a century on his debut.’
        • ‘After a stint in Hartford, he is called up to the big team.’
        • ‘My point is, the Rays aren't afraid to call up their young guys.’
        • ‘‘We called him up as the 17th player,’ the team manager said.’
        • ‘Romario knows that if Brazil do not find a consistent goalscorer soon, then the pressure to call him up will mount.’
        • ‘Though she lost her debut matches, the tennis player hopes she will be called up to play for the senior team in the future.’
        • ‘If he doesn't make the Olympic team, there's a good chance the Cubs will call him up in September.’
        • ‘In all honesty I hope the FO doesn't call up Bryant or Baez next season.’
        • ‘Ainsworth is the best of the three, and if he mows down Pacific Coast League hitters, the team will be tempted to call him up.’
        • ‘The worst-case scenario with Crosby is that the organization calls him up anyway, and the Tigers lose lots of games.’
        select, pick, choose
        View synonyms
  • call something up

    • 1Summon for use something that is stored or kept available.

      ‘icons that allow you to call up a graphic’
      • ‘It predicts what data the program is going to need next and calls it up ahead of time, storing the received but as-yet-unrequired data in main memory.’
      • ‘Once the customer has made a decision, the salesman calls up a three-dimensional image on his computer screen.’
      • ‘She calls up the XML version of the document in a structured editor on the left of the browser window.’
      • ‘So I called up my credit file and went through all 40 pages of it.’
      • ‘Detailed maps can be called up on screens and geographical intelligence deployed to officers.’
      • ‘Digitally-enabled sports fans can select particular camera angles, or call up on-screen menus containing all kinds of background nuggets.’
      • ‘Its details are logged on a card which the user takes away and the horse's details can be called up to be raced when the card is inserted into a machine.’
      • ‘To make matters worse, online links to sites offering more information simply called up error pages.’
      • ‘Greg calls up the webpage and gets the tech support number.’
      • ‘Onscreen icons launch programs with a click, and a movable tool bar calls up menus listing everyday programs.’
      1. 1.1Evoke something.
        ‘the special effects that called up the Mars landscape were impressive’
        • ‘Kearney began now to call up a vision in the future, as a moment before he had called up one of the past.’
        • ‘‘Home for the holidays’ is an often-used phrase this time of year, calling up images of friends and family gathered together to celebrate old traditions.’
        • ‘While no, I can't say that I've seen this exact storyline unfold before, I can say that it never stops calling up memories of other shows.’
        • ‘Nostalgia sells; people love to listen to music that calls those memories up.’
        • ‘The vegan diet usually calls up images of austerity and abstention.’
        • ‘The metaphor calls up a vision of the artist's studio as the site of learning and experimentation.’
        • ‘The opening movement, for flute and strings, calls up the lonely hills.’
        • ‘The proposal is steeped in the language of agricultural protection, calling up images of an agriculture frozen in time.’


Late Old English ceallian, from Old Norse kalla summon loudly.