- 1[countable, uncountable] a system for talking to someone else over long distances, using wires or radio; a machine used for this The telephone rang and Pat answered it. You can reserve seats over the telephone. I need to make a telephone call. telephone lines/networks/services Topic CollocationsPhonesmaking and receiving phone calls the phone/telephone rings answer/pick up/hang up the phone/telephone lift/pick up/hold/replace the receiver dial a phone number/an extension number/a wrong number/an area code call somebody/talk (to somebody)/speak (to somebody) on the phone/telephone; from home/work/the office make/get/receive a phone call take the phone off the hook (= remove the receiver so that the phone does not ring) the line is busy the phones have been ringing off the hook (= ringing frequently) put somebody through/get through to the person you want to speak to put somebody on hold (= so that they must wait for the person they want to speak to) call from/use a landlinecell phones be/talk on a cell phone/ (informal) cell use/answer/call (somebody on)/get a message on your cell phone/cell switch/turn on/off your cell phone/cell charge/recharge your cell phone/cell a cell phone is on/is off/rings/goes off/is on vibrate/is on silent/is in silent mode send/receive a text (message)/a picture message insert/remove/change a SIM card
- 2[countable] the part of the telephone that you hold in your hand and speak into synonym handset, receiver see also phone Idioms
nounjump to other results
to be using the telephone He's on the telephone at the moment. You're wanted (= someone wants to speak to you) on the telephone.
be on the telephonejump to other results