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pay phone

a public telephone requiring that the caller deposit coins or use a credit card to pay for a call.
Also called pay station.
Origin of pay phone
First recorded in 1935-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for payphone
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I worried that there was probably a camera aimed at the payphone he'd used.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow
  • We walked into a drugstore and he dropped a nickel into a payphone, hunching the receiver between ear and shoulder.

British Dictionary definitions for payphone


a public telephone operated by coins or a phonecard
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for payphone

also pay-phone, 1906, from pay (v.) + phone (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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