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.
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. 2018

Related Words for telephoning

phone, dial, contact, ring, call, buzz

Examples from the Web for telephoning

Contemporary Examples of telephoning

Historical Examples of telephoning

  • The dear fussy little woman said that John had been telephoning inquiries.

  • Cornwall, after telephoning his mother that he would not be home, went with him.

  • Telephoning to the hotel where the Mowbrays had been stopping, he learned that they had gone.

    The Princess Virginia

    C. N. Williamson

  • But upstairs, Gertrude was telephoning for the district attorney.

    A Woman for Mayor

    Helen M. Winslow

  • They 've been telephoning Denver and holding conferences and all that sort of thing.

    The Cross-Cut

    Courtney Ryley Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for telephoning


    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
  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
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



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



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper