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



    BrE BrE//kɔːl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɔːl//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they call
    BrE BrE//kɔːl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɔːl//
    he / she / it calls
    BrE BrE//kɔːlz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɔːlz//
    past simple called
    BrE BrE//kɔːld//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɔːld//
    past participle called
    BrE BrE//kɔːld//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɔːld//
    -ing form calling
    BrE BrE//ˈkɔːlɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɔːlɪŋ//
    Making calls, Business meetings
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    give name
  1. 1  [transitive] to give somebody/something a particular name; to use a particular name or title when you are talking to somebody call somebody/something + noun They decided to call the baby Mark. His name's Hiroshi but everyone calls him Hiro. What do they call that new fabric? call somebody They called their first daughter after her grandmother. We call each other by our first names here. see also called
  2. describe
  3. 2  [transitive] to describe somebody/something in a particular way; to consider somebody/something to be something call somebody/something + noun I wouldn't call German an easy language. Are you calling me a liar? He was in the front room, or the lounge or whatever you want to call it. I make it ten pounds forty-three you owe me. Let's call it ten pounds. call somebody/something + adj. Would you call it blue or green? Synonymsregardcall find consider see viewThese words all mean to think about somebody/​something in a particular way.regard to think of somebody/​something in a particular way: He seemed to regard the whole thing as a joke.call to say that somebody/​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 your illness hard to accept.consider to think of somebody/​something in a particular way: Who 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 somebody/​something to be something or consider somebody/​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 somebody/​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 somebody/​something as something; the as cannot be left out: I regard him a close friend. You cannot regard somebody/​something to be something or regard that somebody/​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 (somebody/​something is highly regarded) or adverbial phrase (regard somebody/​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 somebody/​something in a particular way: How do you view your position within the company? View has the same meaning as regard and consider but is slightly less frequent and slightly less formal. The main structures are view somebody/​something as somebody/​something (you cannot leave out the as) and view somebody/​something with something.Patterns to regard/​consider/​see/​view somebody/​something as something to regard/​consider/​see/​view somebody/​something from a particular point of view to find/​consider somebody/​something to be something generally/​usually regarded/​considered/​seen/​viewed as something to regard/​consider/​view somebody/​something favourably/​unfavourably
  4. 3  [transitive] call yourself + noun to claim that you are a particular type of person, especially when other people question whether this is true Call yourself a friend? So why won't you help me, then? She's no right to call herself a feminist.
  5. shout
  6. 4  [intransitive, transitive] to shout or say something loudly to attract somebody’s attention I thought I heard somebody calling. call (out) to somebody (for something) She called out to her father for help. call (something) out He called out a warning from the kitchen. call something Did somebody call my name? + speech ‘See you later!’ she called. Synonymscallcry out exclaim blurt burst outThese words all mean to shout or say something loudly or suddenly.call to shout or say something loudly to attract somebody’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 to say something suddenly and without thinking carefully enough:He blurted out the answer without thinking.burst out to say something suddenly and loudly, especially with a lot of emotion:‘He’s a bully!’ the little boy burst out.Patterns to call/​cry out/​exclaim/​blurt out (something) to somebody to call/​cry out for something to cry out/​exclaim in/​with something to call/​cry out/​exclaim/​blurt out/​burst out suddenly to call/​cry out/​exclaim/​burst out loudly
  7. 5  [transitive, intransitive] call (somebody) to ask somebody to come by shouting or speaking loudly Will you call the kids in for lunch? Did you call?
  8. telephone
  9. 6  [transitive] to ask somebody/something to come quickly to a particular place by telephoning call somebody/something to call the fire department/the police/a doctor/an ambulance The doctor has been called to an urgent case. I'll call a taxi for you. call somebody something I'll call you a taxi. See related entries: Making calls
  10. 7  [intransitive, transitive] to telephone somebody I'll call again later. call somebody/something I called the office to tell them I'd be late. My brother called me from Spain last night. See related entries: Making calls
  11. order somebody to come
  12. 8[transitive, usually passive] + adv./prep. (formal) to order somebody to come to a place Several candidates were called for a second interview. The ambassador was called back to London by the prime minister. He felt called to the priesthood (= had a strong feeling that he must become a priest).
  13. visit
  14. 9  [intransitive] (especially British English) to make a short visit to a person or place I'll call round and see you on my way home. call on somebody Let's call on John. call to do something He was out when I called to see him.
  15. meeting/strike, etc.
  16. 10  [transitive] call something to order something to happen; to announce that something will happen to call a meeting/an election/a strike See related entries: Business meetings
  17. of bird/animal
  18. 11[intransitive] to make the cry that is typical for it
  19. in games
  20. 12[transitive, intransitive] call (something) to say which side of a coin you think will face upwards after it is thrown to call heads/tails
  21. in dances
  22. 13[intransitive, transitive] call (something) to shout out the steps for people performing a square dance or country dance
  23. Word Originlate Old English ceallian, from Old Norse kalla ‘summon loudly’. 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.Extra examples Buenos Aires is often called the Paris of South America. Call us free/​toll-free on this number. He called for help, but no one could hear. He is writing a novel, tentatively called ‘My Future’. His friends affectionately call him ‘Bear’. I’ll call back later. Leave a message and I’ll call you back. She called out in pain. The area was formerly called West Meadow. The prison is euphemistically called a ‘rehabilitation centre’. The system is officially called the NPV System. We usually call him by his nickname. You could hardly call the show perfect, but it was successful. You should call ahead to make sure that seats are available. a character whom the writer calls simply ‘The Girl’ a female penguin calling to her mate a plant variously called ‘cow parsley’ and ‘Queen Anne’s lace’ a range of very small organisms, collectively called nanoplankton a tree variously called ‘rowan’ and ‘mountain ash’ soldiers killed by what is euphemistically called ‘friendly fire’ ‘Don’t forget what I said!’ she called after him. Could you call by later today? Has anyone called the police? He called out a warning to her. He was in the front room, or the lounge, or whatever you want to call it. His name’s Hiroshi but everyone calls him Hiro. I called round at the house to check how things were. I called the office to tell them I’d be late. I don’t know anyone called Scott. I make it ten pounds forty-three you owe me. Let’s call it ten pounds. I started to leave but they called me back again. I thought I heard someone calling. I wouldn’t call German an easy language. I’ve forgotten what the firm he works for is called. My brother called me from Germany last night. She said she was very lonely and it was kind of them to call on her. The cuckoo called across the trees to its mate. The drivers were going to call a strike. The principal called a staff meeting to discuss the changes. We called but they were out. What’s it called again? Yeah, that’s right. A modem. What’s their son called?Idioms
      bring/call somebody/something to mind (formal)
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    1. 1to remember somebody/something synonym recall She couldn't call to mind where she had seen him before.
    2. 2to remind you of somebody/something synonym recall The painting brings to mind some of Picasso's early works.
    call somebody’s bluff
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    to tell somebody to do what they are threatening to do, because you believe that they will not be cruel or brave enough to do it She was tempted to call his bluff, hardly able to believe he’d carry out his threat.
    call something into play
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    (formal) to make use of something Chess is a game that calls into play all your powers of concentration.
    call something into question
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    to doubt something or make others doubt something synonym question His honesty has never been called into question.
    (informal) to decide or agree to stop doing something After forty years in politics I think it's time for me to call it a day (= to retire).
      call it quits (informal)
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    1. 1to agree to end a contest, disagreement, etc. because both sides seem equal
    2. 2to decide to stop doing something
    to use insulting words about somebody (informal) to be the person who controls a situation to say exactly what you think without trying to hide your opinion
    call time (on something)
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    (British English) to say or decide that it is time for something to finish
    call somebody to account (for/over something)
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    to make somebody explain a mistake, etc. because they are responsible for it
    call somebody/something to order
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    to ask people in a meeting to be quiet so that the meeting can start or continue
    he who pays the piper calls the tune
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    (saying) the person who provides the money for something can also control how it is spent
    (be/get called) on the carpet
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    (informal, especially North American English) called to see somebody in authority because you have done something wrong I got called on the carpet for being late.
    the pot calling the kettle black
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    (saying, informal) used to say that you should not criticize somebody for a fault that you have yourself
    what-d’you-call-him/-her/-it/-them, what’s-his/-her/-its/-their-name
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    used instead of a name that you cannot remember She's just gone out with old what-d'you-call-him.
    Phrasal Verbscall at…call somebody awaycall backcall for somebodycall for somethingcall somethingforthcall incall somebodyincall somethingincall off somebodycall somethingoffcall on somebodycall somebody outcall somebody out (on something)call somebodyupcall somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: call