Definition of call verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary





1 [intransitive, transitive] to telephone someoneI'll call again later. call someone/somethingI called the office to tell them I'd be late.My brother called me from Spain last night.

describe someone/something

2 [transitive] to describe someone or something in a particular way; to consider someone or something to be something call someone/something + nounI wouldn't call German an easy language.Are you calling me a liar?He was in the family room, or the den, or whatever you want to call it.You owe me ten dollars and forty-three cents. Let's just call it ten dollars. call someone/something + adjectiveWould you call it blue or green?

give name

3 [transitive] to give someone or something a particular name; to use a particular name or title when you are talking to someone call someone/something + nounThey called their daughter Hannah.His name is Hiroshi but everyone calls him Hiro.What do they call that new fabric? call someoneWe call each other by our first names here. see also called

ask/order by telephone

4 [transitive] to ask someone or something to come quickly to a particular place by telephoning call someone/somethingto call the fire department/the police/a doctor/an ambulanceThe doctor has been called to an urgent case.I'll call a taxi for you. call someone somethingI'll call you a taxi.

ask/order someone to come

5 [transitive, intransitive] call (someone) to ask someone to come by shouting or speaking loudlyWill you call the kids in for lunch?Did you call?6 [transitive, usually passive] + adverb/preposition (formal) to order someone to come to a placeSeveral candidates were called for a second interview.The ambassador was called back to Washington by the president.He felt called to the priesthood (= had a strong feeling that he must become a priest).7 [transitive] to order someone to come into a court to give evidence call someoneCall the next witness! call someone as somethingSeventeen people were called as witnesses. call someone to do somethingHe was called to testify at the trial.

meeting/strike, etc.

8 [transitive] call something to order something to happen; to announce that something will happento call a meeting/an election/a strike


9 [intransitive, transitive] to shout or say something loudly to attract someone's attentionI thought I heard someone calling. call (out) to someone (for something)She called out to her father for help. call (something) outHe called out a warning from the kitchen. call somethingDid someone call my name? + speech“See you later!” she called.

describe yourself

10 [transitive] call yourself + noun to claim that you are a particular type of person, especially when other people question whether this is trueYou call yourself a friend? So why won't you help me, then?She has no right to call herself a feminist.

of bird/animal

11 [intransitive] to make the cry that is typical for it

in sports

12 [transitive] to make an official decision about a play or shot call somethingThe umpire called a foul ball. call someone/something + adjectiveThe serve was called out.The umpire called the runner safe.


13 [transitive] call something to predict the result of a future event, especially an election or a voteThe presidential race is still too close to call (= the candidates are doing equally well and it is impossible to guess who will win).Wow! You called it! How did you know that would happen?


14 [transitive] call something to stop or cancel a gameThe game was called because of rain.


15 [intransitive] (old-fashioned) to make a short visit to a person or place call on someoneMiss Crane called on Mrs. Alcott this afternoon. call to do somethingHe was out when I called to see him.


16 [transitive, intransitive] call (something) to say which side of a coin you think will face upward after it is thrownto call heads/tails

in dances

17 [intransitive, transitive] call (something) to shout out the steps for people performing a square dance

in cards

18 [transitive, intransitive] call (someone/something) (in a game of poker) to bet the same amount of money as the previous player, and so force the player to show his or her cards

bring/call someone/something to mind

(formal)1 to remember someone or something synonym recallShe couldn't call to mind where she had seen him before.2 to remind you of someone or something synonym recallThe painting brings to mind some of Picasso's early works.bring to mindcall to mind

call someone's bluff

to tell someone to do what they are threatening to do, because you believe that they will not be cruel or brave enough to do it
call bluff

call something into play

(formal) to make use of somethingChess is a game that calls into play all your powers of into play

call something into question

to doubt something or make others doubt something
synonym questionHis honesty has never been called into into question

call it a day

(informal) to decide or agree to stop doing somethingAfter forty years in politics I think it's time for me to call it a day (= to retire).call it a day

call it quits

(informal)1 to agree to end a contest, disagreement, etc. because both sides seem equal2 to decide to stop doing somethingcall it quits

call someone names

to use insulting words about someone
call names

call the shots/tune

(informal) to be the person who controls a situationcall the shotscall the tune

call a spade a spade

to say exactly what you think without trying to hide your opinion
call a spade a spade

call someone to account (for/over something)

to make someone explain a mistake, etc. because they are responsible for it
call to accountcall to account forcall to accountcall to account over

call someone/something to order

to ask people in a meeting to be quiet so that the meeting can start or continue
call to order

he who pays the piper calls the tune

(saying) the person who provides the money for something can also control how it is spenthe who pays the piper calls the tune

(be/get called) on the carpet

(informal) called to see someone in authority because you have done something wrongI got called on the carpet for being late.on the carpetbe called on the carpeton the carpetget called on the carpet

the pot calling the kettle black

(saying, informal) used to say that you should not criticize someone for a fault that you have yourselfthe pot calling the kettle black




used instead of a name that you cannot remember
I spoke to what's-his-name, you know, Sue's math teacher.what-d'you-call-him -her/-it/-themwhat-d'you-call- -her/-it/-them

call at…

(of a ship or boat) to stop at a place for a short timeThe ship calls at New York and at

call someone away

to ask someone to stop what they are doing and to go somewhere elseShe was called away from the meeting to take an urgent phone away

call back


call someone back

to telephone someone again or to telephone someone who telephoned you earlierShe said she'd call back.I'm waiting for someone to call me back with a back

call for someone

(old-fashioned) to pick up someone in order to go somewhereI'll call for you at 7 o' for

call for something

1 to need somethingThe situation calls for prompt action.“I've been promoted.” “This calls for a celebration!” see also uncalled for2 to publicly ask for something to happenThey called for the immediate release of the hostages.The opposition party has called for him to for

call somethingforth

(formal) to produce a particular reactionHis speech called forth an angry forth

call in

1 to telephone a place, especially the place where you workSeveral people have called in sick today.2 to make a phone call to a radio or television programThey invite listeners to call in with questions for the celebrity in

call someonein

to ask for the services of someoneto call in the bomb squad/the policecall in

call somethingin

to order or ask for the return of somethingThe bank called in all of its in

call someone/somethingoff

to order a dog or a person to stop attacking, searching, off

call somethingoff

to cancel something; to decide that something will not happento call off a trip/strikeThey have called off their engagement (= decided not to get married).The game was called off because of bad off

call on/upon someone

(formal)1 to formally invite or ask someone to speak, etc.I now call upon the chairman to address the meeting.2 to ask or demand that someone do somethingI feel called upon to (= feel that I should) warn you that…call oncall upon

call someone out

to ask someone to come, especially to an emergencyThe governor had to call out troops to quell the out

call someoneup

1 to make a telephone call to someone2 to move a baseball player from a minor league team to a major league team related noun call-upcall up

call somethingup

1 to bring something back to your mind synonym recallThe smell of the ocean called up memories of her childhood.2 to use something that is stored or kept availableI called his address up on the computer.She called up her last reserves of up
Usage noteUsage note: callcry out exclaim blurt (out)These words all mean to shout or say something loudly or to shout or say something loudly to attract someone's attention: I thought I heard someone calling.cry out (something) to shout something loudly, especially when you need help or are in trouble: She cried out for help. I cried out his name.exclaim to say something suddenly and loudly, especially because of a strong emotion: “It isn't fair!” he exclaimed angrily.blurt (out) to say something suddenly and without thinking carefully enough: He blurted out the answer.patternsto call/cry out/exclaim/blurt out (something) to someoneto call/cry out for someone/somethingto cry out/exclaim/blurt out in/with somethingto call/cry out/exclaim/blurt out suddenlyto call/cry out/exclaim/burst out loudlyUsage noteUsage note: regardcall find consider see viewThese words all mean to think about someone or something in a particular way.regard to think of someone or something in a particular way: He seemed to regard the whole thing as a to say that someone or something has particular qualities or characteristics: I wouldn't call German an easy language.find to have a particular feeling or opinion about something: You may find his story hard to believe.consider to think of someone or something in a particular way: Whom do you consider (to be) responsible for the accident?regard or consider?These two words have the same meaning, but they are used in different patterns and structures. In this meaning, consider must be used with a complement or clause: you can consider someone/something to be something or consider someone/something as something, although very often the to be or as is left out: He considers himself an expert. They are considered a high-risk group. You can also consider that someone/something is something and again, the that can be left out.Regard is used in a narrower range of structures. The most frequent structure is regard someone/something as something; the as cannot be left out:I regard him a close friend. You cannot regard someone/something to be something or regard that someone/something is something. However, regard (but not consider in this meaning) can also be used without a noun or adjective complement but with just an object and adverb (someone/something is highly regarded) or adverbial phrase (regard someone/something with suspicion/jealousy/admiration).see to have an opinion of something: Try to see things from her point of view.view to think of someone or something in a particular way: How do you view your position within the company?note View has the same meaning as regard and consider but is slightly less frequent and slightly less formal. The main structures are view someone/something as someone/something (you cannot leave out the as) and view someone/something with something.patternsto regard/consider/see/view someone/something as somethingto regard/consider/see/view someone/something from a particular perspectiveto find/consider someone/something to be somethinggenerally/usually/often regarded/considered/seen/viewed as somethingto regard/consider/view someone/something favorably/unfavorably