One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A telephone connection to an external dial tone, for outgoing calls.
- ‘For the first time since the telephone was invented, one worker could call another inside the company, as well as connect to an outside line without any operator assistance whatsoever.’
- ‘Dialing an outside line involves telling the system to give you an outside line and then speaking the number.’
- ‘Meanwhile, officers at some stations found they could not get an outside line from landline phones.’
- ‘The green telephone, the outside line, rang at five past twelve.’
- ‘We seem to have problems with our telephones getting an outside line.’
- ‘Give each member of your team their own outside line.’
- ‘Anyway, after much searching for mobile phone numbers in and around people's desks and much cursing while trying to work out how to get an outside line, I made my escape.’
- ‘After a little time for thought, he picked up the phone, got an outside line, and punched in the seven digits.’
- ‘A private branch exchange is a private telephone network used within an enterprise in which users share a certain number of outside lines for external telephone calls.’
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