Did you know?

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

call for - definition and synonyms


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.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb [transitive]
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theycall for
he/she/itcalls for
present participlecalling for
past tensecalled for
past participlecalled for
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    call for something to say publicly that something must happen
    Several of the newspapers were calling for his resignation.
    Protesters were calling for a ban on the production of GM foods.
  2. 2
    call for something to make something necessary or suitable
    The present crisis calls for mature judgment on the part of our leaders.
    Skill and initiative are called for in this job.
    not called for (=unpleasant or unfair): I really don’t think that remark was called for!
    See also uncalled for
  3. 3
    call for someone/something to go somewhere and get someone or something in order to take them to another place
    I’ll call for you at eight.
    Has he called for his parcel yet?
See also main entry: call


a fashion trend in which people intentionally wear ordinary, inexpensive, widely-available clothing

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a flower or small bunch of flowers worn on the lapel of a jacket on special occasions

add a word


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