an electronic device that is attached to a telephone and that automatically answers callers with a prerecorded message and records their messages for later playback.
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Origin of answering machine
First recorded in 1975–80
Also called telephone answering machine.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for answering machine
a device by means of which a telephone call is answered automatically and the caller enabled to leave a recorded messageIn full: telephone answering machine Also called: answerphone
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