[ kawl-uhp ]
/ ˈkɔlˌʌp /
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an order to report for active military service.
the number of persons drafted during a specific period of time: The November call-up was set at 15,000.
a call or urging to service.
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
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Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of call-up

First recorded in 1625–35; noun use of verb phrase call up
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use call-up in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for call-up

call up

verb (adverb)
to summon to report for active military service, as in time of war
(tr) to recall (something); evokehis words called up old memories
(tr) to bring or summon (people, etc) into actionto call up reinforcements
to telephone
noun call-up
  1. a general order to report for military service
  2. the number of men so summoned
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with call-up

call up


Summon to military service, as in He was called up for active duty. [Late 1600s]


Cause to remember, bring to mind, as in These stories call up old times. [c. 1700] Also see call to mind.


Telephone someone, as in I'll call up the theater and find out about tickets. [Late 1800s]


Retrieve data from a computer memory, as in I asked him to call up the last quarter's sales figures. [Second half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.