Woman making a telephone call (1964).
Middle English , from callen Old English ceallian ( “ to call, shout ” ) and Old Norse kalla ( “ to call; shout; refer to as; name ” ); both from Proto-Germanic *kalzōną ( “ to call, shout ” ), from Proto-Indo-European , *gal(o)s- , *glōs- *golH-so- ( “ voice, cry ” ). Cognate with Scots , call , caw ca ( “ to call, cry, shout ” ), Dutch kallen ( “ to chat, talk ” ), dialectal German kallen ( “ to talk; talk loudly or too much ” ), Swedish kalla ( “ to call, refer to, beckon ” ), Norwegian kalle ( “ to call, name ” ), Icelandic kalla ( “ to call, shout, name ” ), Welsh galw ( “ to call, demand ” ), Polish głos ( “ voice ” ), Lithuanian gal̃sas ( “ echo ” ), Russian голос ( golos, “ voice ” ), Albanian gjuhë ( “ language, tongue ” ).
call ( plural )
conversation; a phone call.
I received several phone calls today. I received several calls today. An instance of calling someone on the telephone.
I made a call to Jim, but he didn't answer. A short
visit, usually for social purposes.
I paid a call to a dear friend of mine.
1785, William Cowper, “Book I. The Sofa.”, in , London: The Task, a Poem, [ … ] [ … ] J[oseph] Johnson; [ … ] , , OCLC 228757725 pages 13–14: He [...] ſeldom waits, / Dependent on the baker's punctual call, / To hear his creaking panniers at the door, / Angry and ſad and his laſt cruſt conſumed. 1938, Norman Lindsay, Age of Consent, Sydney: Ure Smith, published 1962, page 149: Podson stayed till after five, though he handsomely apologized for outstaying a call. "The fact is, I never think of the time, when I get talking to a really intelligent woman...'
( nautical ) A visit by a ship or boat to a port.
The ship made a call at Southampton. A cry or
He heard a call from the other side of the room. A
decision or judgement.
That was a good call. The characteristic
cry of a bird or other animal.
That sound is the distinctive call of the cuckoo bird. A
beckoning or summoning.
I had to yield to the call of the wild.
1711 October 8, Joseph Addison; Richard Steele, “THURSDAY, September 27, 1711 [ Julian calendar]”, in , number 181; republished in The Spectator Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition,, volume II, New York, N.Y.: [ … ] D[aniel] Appleton & Company, 1853, , OCLC 191120697 page 440: Dependance is a perpetual call upon humanity, and a greater incitement to tenderness and pity, than any other motive whatsoever.
1861, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter XXIII, in Lady Trevelyan (Hannah More Macaulay), editor, , volume V, London: The History of England from the Accession of James the Second Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, , OCLC 1069526323 page 117: But they had hoped that, when peace had been restored, when no call of duty required him [ William III of England] to cross the sea, he would generally, during the summer and autumn, reside in his fair palaces and parks on the banks of the Thames, [...] 2007, Latina, volume 11, page 101: We actually have a call tomorrow, which is a Sunday, right after my bridal shower. I have to make enchiladas for 10 people! The right to speak at a given time during a debate or other public event; the
The Prime Minister has the call. I give the call to the Manager of Opposition Business.
( finance ) Short for . call option
( cricket ) The act of calling to the other batsman.
( cricket ) The state of being the batsman whose role it is to call (depends on where the ball goes.) A work
shift which requires one to be available when requested (see on call).
1978, Alan E. Nourse, The Practice, Harper & Row,  →ISBN:
page 48: “Mondays would be great, especially after a weekend of
call.” page 56: “[...] I’ve got call tonight, and all weekend, but I’ll be off tomorrow to help you some.”
2007, William D. Bailey, You Will Never Run out of Jesus, CrossHouse Publishing, →ISBN:
page 29: I took general-surgery call at Bossier Medical Center and asked special permission to take general-medical call, which was gladly given away by the older staff members: [...]. You would be surprised at how many surgical cases came out of medical call. page 206: My first night of primary medical call was greeted about midnight with a very ill 30-year-old lady who had a temperature of 103 degrees.
2008, Jamal M. Bullocks [ et al.], Plastic Surgery Emergencies: Principles and Techniques, Thieme, →ISBN, page ix:
We attempted to include all topics that we ourselves have faced while taking plastic surgery call at the affiliated hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, one of the largest medical centers in the world, which sees over 100,000 patients per day. 2009, Steven Louis Shelley, A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting, page 171: The columns in the second rectangle show fewer hours, but part of that is due to the fact that there's a division between a work call and a show call.
( computing ) The act of jumping to a subprogram, saving the means to return to the original point. A statement of a particular
state, or rule, made in many games such as bridge, craps, jacks, and so on.
There was a 20 dollar bet on the table, and my call was 9.
( poker ) The act of matching a bet made by a player who has previously bet in the same round of betting. A note blown on the horn to encourage the dogs in a hunt.
( nautical ) A whistle or pipe, used by the boatswain and his mate to summon the sailors to duty. A pipe or other instrument to call birds or animals by imitating their note or cry. A
game call. An invitation to take charge of or serve a
church as its pastor.
( archaic ) Vocation; employment; calling.
( US , law ) A reference to, or statement of, an object, course, distance, or other matter of description in a survey or grant requiring or calling for a corresponding object, etc., on the land.
( informal , slang , prostitution ) A meeting with a client for paid sex; hookup; job.
2015 March 3, Lyda Longa, “Internet hookups mean fewer prostitutes on Daytona’s streets, police say”, in The Daytona Beach News-Journal , Daytona Beach, Fla.:  "They have a little network of women that watch out for each other," Morford said. That means that if one prostitute doesn't come back after going out on a call – whether it's an Internet prostitute or a streetwalker – and the other women can't get hold of her, they get scared, close up shop and won't work, Morford said. ( law ) A lawyer who was called to the Bar (became licensed as a lawyer) in a specified year.
2020 October 28, Master K.E. Jolley, “ Korlyakov v. Riesz, 2020 ONSC 6622”, in CanLII , retrieved  19 June 2021: The work was done by two lawyers, one a 1983 call and the other a 2010 call.
Derived terms Edit
Related terms Edit
اِتِّصَال (ar) m ( ittiṣāl ), مُكَالَمَة f ( mukālama ) Armenian:
զանգ (hy) ( zang ) Azerbaijani:
zəng , (az) telefon söhbəti Bulgarian:
ра́зговор (bg) m ( rázgovor ), оба́ждане n ( obáždane ) Catalan:
telefonada (ca) , f trucada (ca) f Chinese:
Mandarin: 通話 , (zh) 通话 (zh) ( tōnghuà ), 電話 , (zh) 电话 (zh) ( diànhuà ) Czech:
hovor (cs) m Danish:
opkald , n telefonopkald n Dutch:
telefoongesprek (nl) , n oproep (nl) m Esperanto:
soitto , (fi) puhelinsoitto (fi) French:
appel (fr) m Galician:
chamada (gl) f Georgian:
ზარი ( zari ), სატელეფონო საუბარი ( saṭelepono saubari ) German:
Anruf (de) m Greek:
τηλεφώνημα (el) n ( tilefónima ) Hebrew:
צלצול m ( tziltzul ) Hungarian:
hívás , (hu) telefonhívás (hu) Icelandic:
símtal n Ido:
telefono (io) Indonesian:
telepon (id) Irish: glaoch , m glao m
telefonata (it) , f chiamata (it) f Japanese:
通話 (ja) ( つうわ, tsūwa ) Kabuverdianu:
, txomada xamada Kapampangan:
, aus awus Korean:
전화 (ko) ( jeonhwa ), 통화 (ko) ( tonghwa ) Luxembourgish:
Uruff m Macedonian:
по́вик m ( póvik ) Malay:
زنگیدن (fa) ( zangidan ), زنگ زدن (fa) ( zang zadan ) Polish:
rozmowa telefoniczna f Portuguese:
telefonema , m chamada , (pt) ligação (pt) Quechua:
chemare (ro) Romansch:
звоно́к (ru) m ( zvonók ), разгово́р (ru) m ( razgovór ) Serbo-Croatian:
Roman: telefonski poziv m Slovene:
klic (sl) Spanish:
llamada (es) , f telefonema (es) m Swedish:
telefonsamtal (sv) n Tagalog:
( literally ) tawag n Turkish:
çağrı (tr) Ukrainian:
телефонна розмова ( telefonna rozmova ) West Frisian: telefoanpetear , n oprop c
cry or shout
կանչ (hy) ( kančʿ ) Azerbaijani:
, bağırtı çığırtı Bulgarian:
вик (bg) m ( vik ), кря́сък (bg) m ( krjásǎk ) Catalan:
crit (ca) , m crida (ca) , f xiscle (ca) m Chinese:
Mandarin: 呼叫 (zh) ( hūjiào ), 呼喊 (zh) ( hūhǎn ) Czech:
křik (cs) Dutch:
roep (nl) Finnish:
huuto (fi) French:
appel , (fr) cri (fr) m Galician:
berro (gl) m Georgian:
ყვირილი ( q̇virili ), წამოძახილი ( c̣amoʒaxili ), შეძახილი ( šeʒaxili ), ძახილი ( ʒaxili ), შეძახება ( šeʒaxeba ) German:
Ruf (de) , m Rufen (de) n Greek:
κραυγή (el) f ( kravgí ), αναφώνηση (el) f ( anafónisi ), ξεφωνητό (el) n ( xefonitó ) Hebrew:
קריאה (he) f ( kri'a ) Hungarian: kiáltás (hu)
kall (is) , n hróp (is) n Irish:
glao m Italian:
urlo (it) , m grido (it) m Japanese:
呼び声 ( よびごえ, yobigoe ); 叫び ( さけび, sakebi ) Korean:
외침 (ko) ( oechim ) Kurdish:
Central Kurdish: بانگ (ku) ( bang ) Latgalian:
, saucīņs , klīdzīņs klaiga Latvian:
, kliedziens sauciens Luxembourgish:
Ruff m Macedonian:
вик m ( vik ), крик m ( krik ) Polish:
krzyk (pl) , m okrzyk (pl) , m wołanie (pl) n Portuguese:
chamada (pt) , f grito (pt) m Russian:
крик (ru) m ( krik ) Scottish Gaelic:
gairm f Slovene:
klic (sl) Spanish:
grito (es) Swahili:
rop (sv) n Ukrainian: крик ( kryk )
characteristic cry of a bird or other animal
(finance) contract to buy stock
(medicine) overnight duty in the hospital
(computing) the act of jumping to a subprogram
(poker) the act of matching a bet
Instrument to call birds or animals
call ( third-person singular simple present , calls present participle , calling simple past and past participle called or )
To use one's voice.
( intransitive ) To request, summon, or beckon.
That person is hurt; call for help!
( intransitive ) To cry or shout.
1902, Rudyard Kipling, “How the Alphabet was Made”, in , New York, N.Y.: Just So Stories: For Little Children Doubleday, Page & Company, , stanza 5, OCLC 1705274 page 169: For far—oh, very far behind, / So far she cannot call to him, / Comes Tegumai alone to find / The daughter that was all to him!
( transitive ) To utter in a loud or distinct voice.
to call the roll of a military company 1714, J[ohn] Gay, “Saturday; or, The Flights”, in The Shepherd’s Week. In Six Pastorals, London: [ … ] R. Burleigh [ … ] , , lines 47–50, OCLC 22942401 page 56: Not ballad-ſinger plac'd above the croud, / Sings with a note ſo ſhrilling ſweet and loud, / Nor pariſh clerk who calls the pſalm ſo clear, / Like Bowzybeus ſooths th' attentive ear.
( transitive, intransitive ) To contact by telephone.
Why don’t you call me in the morning? Why don’t you call tomorrow?
( transitive ) To declare in advance.
The captains call the coin toss. To rouse from sleep; to awaken.
1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “ The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies ( First Folio), London: [ … ] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, , [Act II, scene ii], OCLC 606515358 page 376, column 2: Take not away the Taper, leaue it burning: / And if thou canſt awake by foure o'th'clock, / I prythee call me: Sleepe hath ceiz'd me wholly. To declare (an effort or project) to be a failure.
After the third massive failure, John called the whole initiative.
( heading , intransitive ) To visit.
To pay a (social) visit
( often used with "on", "round", or "at"; used by salespeople with "again" to invite customers to come again ).
We could always call on a friend. The engineer called round whilst you were away.
a. 1700, William Temple, “Of Health and Long-life”, in Miscellanea. The Third Part. , London: [...] [ … ] Jonathan Swift, [ … ] Benjamin Tooke, [ … ] , published 1701, , OCLC 23640974 page 127: [...] He ordered Her to call at His Houſe once a Week, which She did for ſome Time; after which He heard no more of Her. 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter IV, in , New York, N.Y.: The Celebrity: An Episode The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., , OCLC 222716698 page 58: The Celebrity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair on a certain afternoon when Mr. Cooke was trying a trotter on the track. To stop at a station or port.
This train calls at Reading, Slough and London Paddington. Our cruise ship called at Bristol Harbour.
To name, identify or describe.
( ditransitive ) To name or refer to.
Why don’t we dispense with the formalities. Please call me Al.
1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 7, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients, : OL 5535161W I don't know how you and the 'head,' as you call him, will get on, but I do know that if you call my duds a 'livery' again there'll be trouble. It's bad enough to go around togged out like a life saver on a drill day, but I can stand that 'cause I'm paid for it. What I won't stand is to have them togs called a livery.
2013 June 28, Joris Luyendijk, “ Our banks are out of control”, in , volume 189, number 3, page 21: The Guardian Weekly But the scandals kept coming, and so we entered stage three–what therapists call "bargaining". A broad section of the political class now recognises the need for change but remains unable to see the necessity of a fundamental overhaul. Instead it offers fixes and patches.
( in passive ) Of a person, to have as one's name; of a thing, to have as its name.
I’m called John. A very tall building is called a skyscraper. 2013 September-October, Henry Petroski, “ The Evolution of Eyeglasses”, in : American Scientist The ability of a segment of a glass sphere to magnify whatever is placed before it was known around the year 1000, when the spherical segment was called a reading stone, essentially what today we might term a frameless magnifying glass or plain glass paperweight.
( transitive ) To predict.
He called twelve of the last three recessions. To state, or estimate, approximately or loosely; to characterize without strict regard to fact.
They call the distance ten miles. That's enough work. Let's call it a day and go home. 1842, Henry Brougham, Political Philosophy:
The whole army is called 700,000 men
( transitive ) To claim the existence of some malfeasance; to denounce as.
I call bullshit. She called foul on their scheme. 2008, PC Magazine :  Having been around the block a few times, I immediately called "shenanigans” on it, but even so, I was taken aback. ( obsolete ) To disclose the class or character of; to identify.
c. 1608–1610, Francis Beaumont; John Fletcher, “ Philaster: Or, Love Lies a Bleeding”, in , [part 1], London: Fifty Comedies and Tragedies. [ … ] [ … ] J[ohn] Macock [and H. Hills], for John Martyn, Henry Herringman, and Richard Marriot, published 1679, , Act I, scene i, OCLC 1015511273 page 22, column 2: This ſpeech calls him Spaniard, being nothing but / A large inventory of his own commendations.
( heading , sports ) Direct or indirect use of the voice.
( cricket ) (of a batsman): To shout directions to the other batsman on whether or not they should take a run.
( baseball , cricket ) (of a fielder): To shout to other fielders that he intends to take a catch (thus avoiding collisions).
( intransitive , poker ) To equal the same amount that other players are currently betting.
I bet $800 and Jane raised to $1600. My options: call (match her $1600 bet), reraise or fold.
( intransitive , poker , proscribed ) To match the current bet amount, in preparation for a raise in the same turn. (Usually, players are forbidden to announce one's play this way.)
I’ll call your 300, and raise to 600! ( transitive ) To state, or invoke a rule, in many games such as bridge, craps, jacks, and so on.
My partner called two spades.
( transitive , sometimes with for ) To require, demand.
He felt called to help the old man. 1910, Emerson Hough, “The Gateway, and Some Who Passed”, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, , OCLC 639762314 page 29: Carried somehow, somewhither, for some reason, on these surging floods, were these travelers, of errand not wholly obvious to their fellows, yet of such sort as to call into query alike the nature of their errand and their own relations.
( transitive , colloquial ) To lay claim to an object or role which is up for grabs.
I call the comfy chair! 1998, “The Trouble with Trillions”, in The Simpsons , season 9:  Mr. Burns: Any of these islands would make a fine new country. / Homer: I call president! / Mr. Burns: Vice president! / Smithers: [groans]
( transitive , finance ) To announce the early extinction of a debt by prepayment, usually at a premium.
( transitive , banking ) To demand repayment of a loan.
( transitive , computing ) To jump to (another part of a program) to perform some operation, returning to the original point on completion.
A recursive function is one that calls itself. This term needs a definition. Please help out and
add a definition, then remove the text
Usage notes Edit
In older forms of English, when the pronoun
was in active use, and verbs used thou for distinct second-person singular indicative forms, the verb -est call had the form , and had callest for its past tense. calledst Similarly, when the ending was in active use for third-person singular present indicative forms, the form -eth was used. calleth
Derived terms Edit
to request, summon, or beckon
quaj (sq) Arabic:
دَعَا (ar) ( daʿā ), نَادَى (ar) ( nādā ) Aragonese:
clamar (an) Armenian:
կանչել (hy) ( kančʿel ) Aromanian:
মতা ( mota ), মাতা ( mata ) Asturian:
çağırmaq , (az) axtarmaq , (az) aramaq Belarusian:
клі́каць impf ( klíkacʹ ), клі́кнуць pf ( klíknucʹ ) Bengali:
ডাকা ( ḍaka ) Brunei Malay:
, lagau panggil Bulgarian:
ви́кам (bg) impf ( víkam ), ви́кна pf ( víkna ), пови́квам (bg) impf ( povíkvam ), пови́кам pf ( povíkam ) Burmese:
အော် (my) ( au ), ဆင့် (my) ( hcang. ) Catalan:
cridar (ca) Cebuano:
ᎠᏯᏂᎭ ( ayaniha ) Chinese:
Mandarin: 叫 (zh) ( jiào ) Corsican:
chjamà (co) Czech:
volat (cs) , impf zavolat (cs) pf Dalmatian:
roepen (nl) Egyptian: (
) jꜣš Esperanto:
kutsua , (fi) hakea (fi) French:
appeler (fr) Friulian:
chamar (gl) Georgian:
დაძახება ( daʒaxeba ), ხმობა ( xmoba ) German:
rufen , (de) anrufen , (de) herbeirufen (de) Gothic:
𐌻𐌰𐌸𐍉𐌽 ( laþōn ) Greek:
καλώ (el) ( kaló )
Ancient: καλέω ( kaléō ) Haitian Creole:
קָרָא (he) ( kará ) Hindi:
पुकारना (hi) ( pukārnā ), बुलाना (hi) ( bulānā ) Hungarian:
hív (hu) Icelandic:
kalla (is) Ido:
vokar (io) Irish:
scairt Old Irish: , do·gair con·gair Istro-Romanian:
chiamare (it) Japanese:
呼ぶ (ja) ( よぶ, yobu ) Kazakh:
шақыру (kk) ( şaqırw ) Khmer:
ហៅ (km) ( haw ) Korean:
부르다 (ko) ( bureuda ) Kyrgyz:
чакыруу (ky) ( çaqıruu ) Lao: ກູ່ ( kū ), ເອີ້ນ ( ʼœ̄n )
, saukt klīgt Latin:
vocō (la) Latvian:
, šaukti pašaukti Lombard:
ciamà Low German:
German Low German: ropen (nds) Macedonian:
вика impf ( vika ), повикува impf ( povikuva ), повика pf ( povika ) Malay:
chiammà North Frisian:
( Sylt dialect ) röp Norwegian:
kalle (no) Occitan:
cridar (oc) Old Church Slavonic:
Cyrillic: зъвати impf ( zŭvati ), клицати impf ( klicati ) Ossetian:
хонын ( xonyn ) Pashto:
بلل (ps) ( baləl ) Persian:
صدا زدن (fa) ( sedâ zadan ) Polish:
wzywać (pl) , impf wezwać (pl) , pf wołać (pl) , impf zawołać (pl) pf Portuguese:
chamar (pt) Quechua:
chema (ro) Romansch:
, clamar , clamer clomar Russian:
звать (ru) impf ( zvatʹ ), позва́ть (ru) pf ( pozvátʹ ), вызыва́ть (ru) impf ( vyzyvátʹ ), вы́звать (ru) pf ( výzvatʹ ), кли́кать (ru) impf ( klíkatʹ ) Sanskrit:
गृणाति (sa) ( gṛṇāti ) Sardinian:
зва̏ти impf Roman: zvȁti (sh) impf Sicilian:
chiamari (scn) Slovak:
volať , impf zavolať pf Slovene:
klícati (sl) , impf poklícati pf Sorbian:
Lower Sorbian: wołaś impf Spanish:
llamar , (es) convocar (es) Swahili: ku
kalla , (sv) ropa (sv) Tajik:
ҷеғ задан ( jeġ zadan ), фарёд кардан ( faryod kardan ) Tamil:
அழை (ta) ( aḻai ) Telugu:
పిలుచు (te) ( pilucu ) Thai:
เรียก (th) ( rîiak ) Turkish:
aramak (tr) Turkmen:
, oýarmak çagarmak Ukrainian:
кли́кати impf ( klýkaty ), покли́кати pf ( poklýkaty ); зва́ти impf ( zváty ), позва́ти pf ( pozváty ) Urdu:
پکارنا ( pukārnā ), بلانا ( bulānā ) Uzbek:
chaqirmoq (uz) Vietnamese:
gọi , (vi) kêu (vi) Walloon:
houkî (wa) West Flemish:
רופֿן ( rufn ) Zulu: -biza
to shout directions to the other batsman on whether or not they should take a run
to shout to other fielders that he intends to take a catch thus avoiding collisions
to match or equal the amount of poker chips in the pot as the player that bet
to state, or invoke a rule, in many games such as bridge, craps, jacks, and so on
to jump to another part of a program
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked