pay phone



a public telephone requiring that the caller deposit coins or use a credit card to pay for a call.

Origin of pay phone

First recorded in 1935–40
Also called pay station. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for payphone

Contemporary Examples of payphone

Historical Examples of payphone

  • We walked into a drugstore and he dropped a nickel into a payphone, hunching the receiver between ear and shoulder.

  • I worried that there was probably a camera aimed at the payphone he'd used.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow

British Dictionary definitions for payphone



a public telephone operated by coins or a phonecard
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 payphone

also pay-phone, 1906, from pay (v.) + phone (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper