verb (used with object)
- to pronounce a judgment on (a shot, pitch, batter, etc.): The umpire called the pitch a strike.
- to put an end to (a contest) because of inclement weather, poor field conditions, etc.: A sudden downpour forced the umpire to call the game.
- to demand (a card).
- to demand the display of a hand by (a player).
- Poker.to equal (a bet) or equal the bet made by (the preceding bettor) in a round.
- Bridge.to signal one's partner for a lead of (a certain card or suit).
verb (used without object)
- to demand a card.
- to demand a showing of hands.
- Poker.to equal a bet.
- Bridge.to bid or pass.
- a demand for a card or a showing of hands.
- Poker.an equaling of the preceding bet.
- Bridge.a bid or pass.
- to summon or bring back; recall: He called back the messenger. The actor was called back for a second audition.
- to revoke; retract: to call back an accusation.
- to request or pray for; invoke: to call down the wrath of God.
- to reprimand; scold: The boss called us down for lateness.
- to go or come to get; pick up; fetch.
- to request; summon.
- to require; demand; need: The occasion calls for a cool head.
- to call for payment; collect.
- to withdraw from circulation: to call in gold certificates.
- to call upon for consultation; ask for help: Two specialists were called in to assist in the operation.
- to inform or report by telephone: Did he call in his decision this morning?
- to participate in a radio or television program by telephone.
- to distract; take away: Please call off your dog.
- to cancel (something) that had been planned for a certain date: The performance was called off because of rain.
- to ask; appeal to: They called on him to represent them.
- to visit for a short time: to call on friends.
- to speak in a loud voice; shout.
- to summon into service or action: Call out the militia!
- to bring out; elicit: The emergency called out her hidden abilities.
- to direct attention to with a callout: to call out each detail in an illustration.
- Informal.to challenge to a fight.
- to bring forward for consideration or discussion.
- to cause to remember; evoke.
- to communicate or try to communicate with by telephone.
- to summon for action or service: A large number of Army reservists were called up.
- Computers.to summon (information) from a computer system for display on a video screen: She called up the full text.
- payable or subject to return without advance notice.
- readily available for summoning upon short notice.
Origin of call
- to requirethis problem calls for study
- to come or go (for) in order to fetchI will call for my book later
- an imitation of the characteristic cry of a wild animal or bird to lure it to the hunter
- an instrument for producing such an imitation
- a demand for repayment of a loan
- (as modifier)call money
- a demand for redeemable bonds or shares to be presented for repayment
- a demand for an instalment payment on the issue price of bonds or shares
- (of a loan, etc) repayable on demand
- available to be called for work outside normal working hours
Word Origin for call
early 14c., from call (v.). Sense of "a short formal visit" is from 1862.
Old English ceallian "to call, shout," less common than clipian; replaced by related Old Norse kalla "to cry loudly," from Proto-Germanic *kallojanan (cf. Dutch kallen "to talk," Old High German kallon "to call"), from PIE root *gal- "to call, scream, shriek, shout" (cf. Sanskrit garhati "bewail, criticize;" Latin gallus "cock;" Old High German klaga, German Klage "complaint, grievance, lament, accusation;" Old English clacu "affront;" Old Church Slavonic glasu "voice," glagolu "word;" Welsh galw "call"). Related: Called; calling.
Meaning "to give a name to" is mid-13c. Coin-toss sense is from 1801. Meaning "to visit" (Middle English) was literally "to stand at the door and call." Telephone/telegraph sense is from 1889. To call out someone to fight (1823) corresponds to French provoqueur. To call it a day is from 1834.
Available if summoned, as in Medical residents are required to be on call at least three nights a week. This expression originated as at call in the late 1500s. Also see at someone's beck and call.
In addition to the idioms beginning with call
- call a halt
- call a spade a spade
- call back
- call down
- call for
- call in
- call in question
- call in sick
- call it a day
- call it quits
- call names
- call of duty
- call off
- call of nature
- call on
- call one's own
- call on the carpet
- call out
- call someone's bluff
- call the shots
- call the tune
- call to account
- call to mind
- call to order
- call up
- call upon
- above and beyond (the call of duty)
- at someone's beck and call
- close call
- dressing (calling) down
- no call for
- on call
- pay a call
- pot calling the kettle black
- too close to call
- uncalled for
- wake-up call
- within call