Main definitions of phone in US English:

: phone1phone2

phone1

noun

  • 1A telephone.

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

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

verb

also phone up" or "phone someone up
  • Call someone on the telephone.

    with object ‘he phoned her at work’
    no object ‘she phoned about twenty minutes ago’
    • ‘At least I had the sense of calling in sick this morning and when my boss phoned me up to check on me he asked if I wanted tomorrow off as well, which I gladly agreed to.’
    • ‘I got home from the hospital and they phoned me up immediately to say they were taking her to theatre, so I had to go straight back.’
    • ‘She phoned them up and demanded they redeliver.’
    • ‘I phoned them up and challenged them on this and they admitted it.’
    • ‘She phoned me up and we pondered it for a few minutes, before realising the PC in question didn't have any speakers.’
    • ‘Some people have phoned us up and have come in and made statements.’
    • ‘She phoned me up at home to ask if I could come in at 3.40!’
    • ‘I have people phoning me up with their concerns.’
    • ‘It takes a couple of seconds to phone a team doctor and check if you can take something.’
    • ‘My Egyptian friend had phoned me up and asked if I would like to go with her to see the Agricultural College where she studies, and meet her fellow students.’
    • ‘Feeling really tired, I phoned Lucy up to say that I couldn't make it today & I have spent most of the day lazing around, reading the paper mainly.’
    • ‘Then you come home and phone a friend to grumble about this speech you've got to make.’
    • ‘Frank phoned me up after Silverstone last year and things started to firm up over the winter.’
    • ‘Sloan, who organised the music, wrote a wish list of all her favourite bands in the world and then started phoning them up.’
    • ‘A representative of the British Olympic Association actually phoned me up to ask if he was making a political statement.’
    • ‘I wasn't sure anything had happened until friends started phoning me up.’
    • ‘They phoned us up today asking if we do get to do the show, would be want to play live or play to a backing tape and if we can we're going to play live.’
    • ‘He said: ‘A friend phoned me up and told me there was a possibility of floods.’’
    • ‘The PFY dutifully phones and a ring sound emerges from the heart of the machine.’
    • ‘People have been phoning me up and stopping me in the street and saying how sorry they are to hear about what has happened to us.’
    telephone, call, call up, give someone a call, give someone a ring, ring, ring up, get someone on the phone, get on the phone to, get, reach, dial, make a call, place a call, make a call to, place a call to
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • phone it in

    • informal Work or perform in a perfunctory or unenthusiastic manner.

Origin

Late 19th century: abbreviation of telephone.

Pronunciation

phone

/fōn//foʊn/

Main definitions of phone in US English:

: phone1phone2

phone2

noun

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

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation

phone

/fōn//foʊn/