or call-back

[ kawl-bak ]

  1. an act of calling back.

  2. a summoning of workers back to work after a layoff.

  1. a summoning of an employee back to work after working hours, as for emergency business.

  2. a request to a performer who has auditioned for a role, booking, or the like to return for another audition.

  3. a return telephone call.

  4. an allusion to a joke made earlier in the same comedy act or show:The kitten yelling “Quiet!” at the end was a callback to earlier in the episode when the two normally silent brothers shouted it.

  1. of or relating to a return telephone call: Please leave a callback number.

verb phrasecall back [kawl-bak] /ˈkɔl ˈbæk/ .
  1. to telephone (a person) who has called earlier:Our staff will call you back within 24 hours.

  2. to summon or bring back; recall: He called back the messenger.The actor was called back for a second audition.

  1. to revoke; retract: to call back an accusation.

Origin of callback

First recorded in 1925–30; noun use of verb phrase call back

Words Nearby callback Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use callback in a sentence

Other Idioms and Phrases with callback


Ask someone to return; also, ask that something be returned, as in He passed the first audition and was waiting to be called back, or These screws are defective; the manufacturer has called them back. [Late 1500s]

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