[ tel-uh-fohn ]
/ ˈtɛl əˌfoʊn /


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.

to speak to or summon (a person) by telephone.
to send (a message) by telephone.

verb (used without object), tel·e·phoned, tel·e·phon·ing.

to send a message by telephone.

Nearby words

  1. telepathic,
  2. telepathist,
  3. telepathize,
  4. telepathy,
  5. teleph.,
  6. telephone answering machine,
  7. telephone bank,
  8. telephone banking,
  9. telephone book,
  10. telephone booth

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for telephoning

British Dictionary definitions for telephoning


/ (ˈtɛlɪˌfəʊn) /


  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


to call or talk to (a person) by telephone
to transmit (a recorded message, radio or television programme, or other information) by telephone, using special transmitting and receiving equipment
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 telephoning
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper