Definition of call noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//kɔːl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɔːl//
    Making calls
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    on telephone
  1. 1  [countable] (also phone call) the act of speaking to somebody on the telephone to get/have/receive a call from somebody to give somebody/to make a call Were there any calls for me while I was out? I'll take (= answer) the call upstairs. I left a message but he didn't return my call. a local call a long-distance call British/​Americanphone / call / ringVerbs In British English, to phone, to ring and to call are the usual ways of saying to telephone. In North American English the most common word is call, but phone is also used. Speakers of North American English do not say ring. Telephone is very formal and is used mainly in British English.Nouns You can use call or phone call (more formal) in both British English and North American English:Were there any phone calls for me? How do I make a local call? The idiom give somebody a call is also common:I’ll give you a call tonight. In informal British English you could also say:I’ll give you a ring tonight. see also cold-calling, wake-up call Wordfinderarea code, call, dial, engaged, hold, line, message, phone, ring, voicemail See related entries: Making calls
  2. loud sound
  3. 2  [countable] a loud sound made by a bird or an animal, or by a person to attract attention the distinctive call of the cuckoo a call for help
  4. visit
  5. 3[countable] a short visit to somebody’s house The doctor has five calls to make this morning. (old-fashioned) to pay a call on an old friend see also house call
  6. request/demand
  7. 4[countable] call (for something) a request, an order or a demand for somebody to do something or to go somewhere calls for the minister to resign calls for national unity This is the last call for passengers travelling on British Airways flight 199 to Rome. (formal) a call to arms (= a strong request to fight in the army, etc.) see also cattle call, curtain call
  8. 5[uncountable] no call for something | no call (for somebody) to do something no demand for something; no reason for somebody’s behaviour There isn't a lot of call for small specialist shops nowadays.
  9. 6[countable] call on somebody/something a demand or pressure placed on somebody/something She is a busy woman with many calls on her time.
  10. of a place
  11. 7[singular] call (of something) (literary) a strong feeling of attraction that a particular place has for you the call of the sea/your homeland
  12. to a particular job
  13. 8[singular] call (to do something) a strong feeling that you want to do something, especially a particular job He felt the call of the priesthood early on in his life.
  14. decision
  15. 9[countable] (informal) a decision It's your call! a good/bad call That's a tough call.
  16. in tennis
  17. 10[countable] a decision made by the umpire There was a disputed call in the second set.
  18. in card games
  19. 11[countable] a player’s bid1 or turn to bid1
  20. Word Originlate Old English ceallian, from Old Norse kalla ‘summon loudly’.Extra examples Ask the receptionist to put your call through to my room. Campaigners have renewed their call for an independent inquiry. Could you get off the phone? I’m expecting a call. Drink-drive campaigners have renewed their call for the introduction of random breath tests. Give us a call to say when you have arrived. He pushed the call button for the flight attendant. He received an urgent call and had to leave. He spent the whole day fielding calls from concerned parents. Her first call was on the local library. I ended the call as quickly as possible. I left a message but he didn’t return my call. I made a call to a friend in London. I ordered a wake-up call for 6.30 the next morning. I’ll just make a quick phone call. I’ll take the call upstairs. It is unlikely that they will heed calls for a crackdown. Last night’s defeat should be a wake-up call for the team. Our first port of call was the bank. She asked her secretary to place a call through to England. She made a frantic phone call to her mother. She placed an anonymous call to the Dutch Embassy in Dublin. She was out and missed an important call. She’s out on a call. The book is a call to action. The charity issued a call for donations to assist victims of the earthquake. The doctor does not usually make house calls. The doctor has several calls to make this morning. The government has resisted the calls of the international community. The mosque was sounding the call to prayer. The police managed to trace the call. The president’s speech was a call to arms to restore the vitality of the American dream. The screen display said ‘8 missed calls’. This election is a clarion call for our country to face the challenges of the new era. This is the last call for PAM flight 199 to Salvador. This is the last call for passengers travelling on British Airways flight 199 to Rome. We always make follow-up calls to ensure customer satisfaction. We’re not supposed to make personal calls from work. When he went to Ethiopia, his first call was on the ambassador. You had a call from Fred. the bird’s plaintive call the morning call to prayer Calls for national unity were ignored. He decided to pay a call on his old friend. I received an unexpected call from the police yesterday. I’m afraid this isn’t a social call. The call of the barn owl is often described as a screech or scream. The doctor’s out on a call at the moment. There have been calls for the minister to resign. a local/​long distance callIdioms
    at somebody’s beck and call
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    always ready to obey somebody’s orders She is constantly at the beck and call of her invalid father. Don't expect to have me at your beck and call.
    (humorous) the need to go to the toilet (informal) a situation in which you only just manage to avoid an accident, etc.
    have first call (on somebody/something)
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    to be the most important person or thing competing for somebody’s time, money, etc. and to be dealt with or paid for before other people or things The children always have first call on her time.
    (of a doctor, police officer, etc.) available for work if necessary, especially in an emergency I'll be on call the night of the party. The doctor had been on call for 48 hours and was exhausted. see also on-call
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: call