View synonyms for telephone


[ tel-uh-fohn ]


  1. an apparatus, system, or process for transmission of sound or speech to a distant point, especially by an electric device.

verb (used with object)

, tel·e·phoned, tel·e·phon·ing.
  1. to speak to or summon (a person) by telephone.
  2. to send (a message) by telephone.

verb (used without object)

, tel·e·phoned, tel·e·phon·ing.
  1. to send a message by telephone.


/ ˈtɛlɪˌfəʊn; ˌtɛlɪˈfɒnɪk /


    1. Also calledtelephone set an electrical device for transmitting speech, consisting of a microphone and receiver mounted on a handset
    2. ( as modifier )

      a telephone receiver

    1. a worldwide system of communications using telephones. The microphone in one telephone converts sound waves into electrical signals that are transmitted along a telephone wire or by radio to one or more distant sets, the receivers of which reconvert the incoming signal into the original sound
    2. ( as modifier )

      a telephone exchange

      a telephone call


  1. to call or talk to (a person) by telephone
  2. to transmit (a recorded message, radio or television programme, or other information) by telephone, using special transmitting and receiving equipment

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Derived Forms

  • ˈteleˌphoner, noun
  • ˌteleˈphonically, adverb
  • telephonic, adjective

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Other Words From

  • tele·phoner noun
  • pre·tele·phone adjective
  • re·tele·phone verb retelephoned retelephoning

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Word History and Origins

Origin of telephone1

First recorded in 1825–35; tele- 1 + -phone

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Example Sentences

“From everything I’ve seen so far, and from the people who have reached out to me, yes, I’m positive that was Clint,” said the former coach, Jason Strunk, when reached by telephone Monday.

One allowed access to a telephone used for checking in and non-emergency communication with headquarters.

However, during a telephone conversation, the agency refused to confirm the mission took place in Mexico—citing the protection of “sources and methods.”

Just as a century ago we embraced the telephone, we embraced Facebook.

From Time

Feliciano said in a brief telephone interview Thursday evening.

After my first trip to his place in Tucson we called one another on the telephone.

Once a month he attaches a device to his chest, clamps metal bracelets on his wrists, and hooks the whole thing up to a telephone.

He gives a long telephone interview to nine reporters around the country.

“I grew up with Special Forces,” Shadman said during a telephone interview Wednesday.

Since 2013, his telecoms company Beijing Xinwei has been awarded several telephone and internet licenses.

New proposals regarding telephone charges are expected as soon as the Select Committee has reported.

It contained a writing-table (upon which was a telephone and a pile of old newspapers), a cabinet, and two chairs.

At the back, near a stand that racked a number of grease guns, he saw a second telephone fixed to the wall.

As they left the tower and the ugly old woman, they heard the latter calling a number into the telephone receiver.

If Burkey knew the Eye's telephone number he apparently kept it in his head.


Related Words




téléphériquetelephone answering machine