[ kawl-in ]
/ ˈkɔlˌɪn /
Radio and Television.
Save This Word!


a program in which listeners or viewers phone in comments or questions to the host or a person being interviewed.
a live telephone conversation intended for broadcasting between a program's host and a person being interviewed.


of, relating to, or featuring such phone calls or conversations: a call-in program.



Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of call-in

First recorded in 1960–65; noun use of verb phrase call in
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for call-in

call in

verb (adverb)

(intr often foll by on) to pay a visit, esp a brief or informal onecall in if you are in the neighbourhood
(tr) to demand payment ofto call in a loan
(tr) to take (something) out of circulation, because it is defective or no longer useful
(tr) to summon to one's assistancethey had to call in a specialist
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

Idioms and Phrases with call-in

call in


Summon for help or consultation, as in We've decided to call in a specialist to look at Father. [Second half of 1600s]


Withdraw from circulation, as in We're calling in all the old models. [Late 1500s]


Communicate by telephone, as in In this office salesmen must call in once a day. [Mid-1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
What's This Word?