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See more synonyms for phone on Thesaurus.com
  1. telephone(def 1).
  2. a portable electronic telephone device, as a cell phone, mobile phone, or smartphone.
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verb (used with object), phoned, phon·ing.
  1. to speak to or summon (a person) by telephone.
  2. to send (a message) by telephone.
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verb (used without object), phoned, phon·ing.
  1. to send a message by telephone.
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Origin of phone1

First recorded in 1880–85; by shortening
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for phoning

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It really isn't worth while 'phoning or telegraphing either.

    The Woman-Haters

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • They keep 'phoning and telegraphing and upsetting things generally.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • "Of course, or I'd have sent word by you instead of phoning," said Elinor quickly.

    Miss Pat at School

    Pemberton Ginther

  • "That Mr. Harrison has been 'phoning and 'phoning," Mrs. Hills announced, complacently.

    Jane Journeys On

    Ruth Comfort Mitchell

  • "I'll do my own phoning, thanks," said Fairy, rising quickly.

    Prudence Says So

    Ethel Hueston

British Dictionary definitions for phoning


noun, verb
  1. short for telephone
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  1. phonetics a single uncomplicated speech sound
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Word Origin

C19: from Greek phōnē sound, voice
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 phoning



1884, shortening of telephone (n.). Phone book first recorded 1925; phone booth 1927; phone bill 1901.

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1884, from phone (n.). Related: Phoned; phoning.

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"elementary sound of a spoken language," 1866, from Greek phone (see fame (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper