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[fohn] /foʊn/
noun, verb (used with or without object), phoned, phoning.
Origin of phone1
1880-85; by shortening Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for phoning
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • How about phoning down for a bottle of Napoleon and some soda and ice?

    Black Man's Burden Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • "I'll do my own phoning, thanks," said Fairy, rising quickly.

    Prudence Says So Ethel Hueston
  • Think of him 'phoning me, instead of his wife sitting down and writing us a regular bid!

    Babbitt Sinclair Lewis
  • It must be his uncle, phoning to tell him that he had been detained.

  • "That Mr. Harrison has been 'phoning and 'phoning," Mrs. Hills announced, complacently.

    Jane Journeys On Ruth Comfort Mitchell
British Dictionary definitions for phoning


noun, verb
short for telephone


(phonetics) a single uncomplicated speech sound
Word Origin
C19: from Greek phōnē sound, voice
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 phoning



1884, shortening of telephone (n.). Phone book first recorded 1925; phone booth 1927; phone bill 1901.

"elementary sound of a spoken language," 1866, from Greek phone (see fame (n.)).


1884, from phone (n.). Related: Phoned; phoning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for phoning


Related Terms

flip phone, hold the phone

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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