Did you know?

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

telephone - 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.

Thesaurus diagram

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.

noun     telephone pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. [countable]Sound effect 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’ve got 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 saidHello’.

    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.


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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
Macmillan learn live love play