a person or thing that calls.
a person who makes a short visit.
Dance. a person who directs the movements of dancers, as at a hoedown or square dance, by calling out the successive figures as the music plays.

Origin of caller

1400–50; late Middle English. See call, -er1

Synonyms for caller

2. See visitor.


[kal-er, kah-ler]

adjective Scot. and North England.

(of fruit, fish, vegetables, etc.) fresh; recently picked or caught.

Origin of caller

1325–75; Middle English, north. variant of calver fresh, alive (said of fish) < ? Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for caller

guest, visitant

Examples from the Web for caller

Contemporary Examples of caller

Historical Examples of caller

  • To Eileen's credit it may be said that she had not been told that a caller was expected.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • He did not look up, but, as his caller moved, inquired amiably: "Well?"

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Somehow the fellow did suggest Kirkwood's caller of the afternoon.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • The caller had gone away, and the old woman and the girl were left alone.

    Four Girls and a Compact

    Annie Hamilton Donnell

  • "Mr. Kendrick ain't here," she said, in answer to the caller's question.

    Thankful's Inheritance

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for caller




a person or thing that calls, esp a person who makes a brief visit
Australian a racing commentator



adjective Scot

(of food, esp fish) fresh
coola caller breeze

Word Origin for caller

C14: perhaps a Scottish variant of calver to prepare fresh salmon or trout in a certain way; perhaps from Old English calwer curds, from a fancied resemblance with the flaked flesh of the fish
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

Word Origin and History for caller

c.1500, "one who proclaims," agent noun from call (v.). Meaning "one who announces step changes at a dance" is recorded from 1882; "one who places a telephone call," 1898. Meaning "a social visitor" is attested from 1786.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper