• synonyms


  1. an apparatus, system, or process for transmission of sound or speech to a distant point, especially by an electric device.
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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.
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verb (used without object), tel·e·phoned, tel·e·phon·ing.
  1. to send a message by telephone.
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Also phone.

Origin of telephone

First recorded in 1825–35; tele-1 + -phone
Related formstel·e·phon·er, nounpre·tel·e·phone, adjectivere·tel·e·phone, verb, re·tel·e·phoned, re·tel·e·phon·ing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for telephoned

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British Dictionary definitions for telephoned


    1. Also called: telephone setan 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. See telephone box
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  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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Often shortened to: phone
Derived Formstelephoner, nountelephonic (ˌtɛlɪˈfɒnɪk), adjectivetelephonically, adverb
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 telephoned



1878, from telephone (n.). Related: Telephoned; telephoning.

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1835, "apparatus for signaling by musical notes" (devised by Sudré in 1828), from French téléphone (c.1830), from télé- "far" (see tele-) + phone "sound" (see fame (n.)). Also used of other apparatus early 19c., including "instrument similar to a foghorn for signaling from ship to ship" (1844). The electrical communication tool was first described in modern form by P.Reis (1861); developed by Bell, and so called by him from 1876.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper