Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

telephone

 - definition
 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
noun American English pronunciation: telephone /ˈteləˌfoʊn/ 
Word Forms
Close
singulartelephone
pluraltelephones
  1. 1
    [countable] Sound effect: telephone a piece of electronic equipment that you use for speaking to someone in a different place, especially a landline (=a phone that is attached to a telephone line). A telephone is often simply called a phone

    They have a telephone next to their bed.

    a digital cordless telephone

    a telephone rings:

    The telephone's been ringing all morning.

    pick up/answer the telephone:

    Pascoe picked up the telephone and said "Hello."

    use the telephone:

    May I use your telephone?

    1. a.
      [uncountable] the system of communicating using telephones

      The telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell.

      over the telephone:

      People are interviewed over the telephone.

      by telephone:

      I placed my order by telephone two weeks ago.

    2. b.
      [only before noun] relating to or involving the telephone

      a telephone line/dial/switchboard

      telephone communications/conversations/bookings

phrase

conscious uncoupling

the act of ending a marriage or romantic relationship in a way which shows that the two people will remain friends …

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

astronomer

someone who studies the stars and planets using scientific equipment including telescopes

Open Dictionary

silver splitter

someone who divorces or separates from his/her partner in late middle age

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog