cell phone

or cell·phone

[ sel-fohn ]
/ ˈsɛlˌfoʊn /

noun Telecommunications.

a wireless telephone using a system of low-powered radio transmitters, with each transmitter covering a distinct geographical area (cell ), and computer equipment to switch a call from one area to another, thus enabling broad-scale portable phone service.
such a wireless telephone that has other functions, as text messaging or internet access.



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Also called cel·lu·lar phone [sel-yuh-ler fohn], /ˈsɛl yə lər ˈfoʊn/, cel·lu·lar tel·e·phone [sel-yuh-ler tel-uh-fohn] /ˈsɛl yə lər ˈtɛl əˌfoʊn/ .

Origin of cell phone

First recorded in 1980–85; cell(ular) + phone1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for cell phone

British Dictionary definitions for cell phone

/ (ˈsɛlˌfəʊn) /


a portable telephone operated by cellular radioIn full: cellular telephone
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

Cultural definitions for cell phone

cell phone

A portable telephone that uses wireless cellular technology to send and receive phone signals. This technology works by dividing the Earth into small regions called cells. Within each cell the wireless telephone signal goes over its assigned bandwidth to a cell tower, which relays the signal to a telephone switching network, connecting the user to the desired party.

notes for cell phone

The proximity to a cell tower is often the key to good reception when using a cell phone.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.