[ dahy-uhl, dahyl ]
/ ˈdaɪ əl, daɪl /
a plate, disk, face, or other surface containing markings or figures upon which the time of day is indicated by hands, pointers, or shadows, as of a clock or sundial.
a plate or disk with markings or figures for indicating or registering some measurement or number, as of pressure, number of revolutions, the frequency to which a radio is tuned, etc., usually by means of a pointer.
a rotatable plate, disk, or knob used for regulating a mechanism, making and breaking electrical connections, etc., as in tuning a radio or television station in or out.
Also called ro·ta·ry di·al [roh-tuh-ree dahy-uhl, dahyl]. /ˈroʊ tə ri ˌdaɪ əl, ˌdaɪl/. a rotatable plate or disk on a telephone, fitted with finger holes that are marked with letters or numbers, used in making calls through an automatic switchboard.
any mechanism on the face of a telephone by which the caller places a call, as push buttons.
Also called min·er's di·al [mahy-nerz dahy-uhl, dahyl]. /ˈmaɪ nərz ˌdaɪ əl, ˌdaɪl/. Mining. a compass used for underground surveying.
verb (used with object), di·aled, di·al·ing or (especially British) di·alled, di·al·ling.
to indicate or register on or as if on a dial.
to measure with or as if with a dial.
to regulate, select, or tune in by means of a dial, as on a radio: to dial my favorite program.
to make a telephone call to: Dial me at home.
verb (used without object), di·aled, di·al·ing or (especially British) di·alled, di·al·ling.
to use a telephone dial; to dial a telephone: I keep dialing, but the line seems dead.
to tune in or regulate by means of a dial: to dial into the opera broadcast.
(of a telephone) having a rotary dial mechanism.
dial down, to reduce the level of; diminish: Such open threats of military action make it more difficult to dial down tensions.
- to obtain, reach, or contact by telephone:Now's your chance to dial up Chicago and do some business.
- to access a computer, the internet, or another network by dialing a telephone number.
- to increase the level of; intensify: I used cayenne, garlic, oregano, thyme, and pepper to dial up the flavor.
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Origin of dial
First recorded in 1400–50; Middle English dial, diel,dyal “instrument for telling time by the sun's shadow,” from Old French dyal, from Medieval Latin diālis “daily” (Latin di(ēs) ) “day” + -ālis adjective suffix; cf. -al1)
OTHER WORDS FROM dialun·di·aled, adjectiveun·di·alled, adjective
Definition for dial (2 of 2)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
British Dictionary definitions for dial (1 of 2)
/ (ˈdaɪəl, daɪl) /
the face of a watch, clock, chronometer, sundial, etc, marked with divisions representing units of time
the circular graduated disc of various measuring instruments
- the control on a radio or television set used to change the station or channel
- the panel on a radio on which the frequency, wavelength, or station is indicated by means of a pointer
a numbered disc on a telephone that is rotated a set distance for each digit of a number being called
a miner's compass for surveying in a mine
British a slang word for face (def. 1)
verb dials, dialling or dialled or US dials, dialing or dialed
to establish or try to establish a telephone connection with (a subscriber or his number) by operating the dial on a telephone
(tr) to indicate, measure, or operate with a dial
Derived forms of dialdialler, noun
Word Origin for dial
C14: from Medieval Latin diālis daily, from Latin diēs day
British Dictionary definitions for dial (2 of 2)
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