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Using a telephone

answer

verb

to come to the door when someone calls at your house, or pick up the phone when it rings

busy

adjective

if someone’s telephone is busy, it is being used when you try to call

call

verb

to telephone someone

call

verb

to telephone a person or organization that provides a service and ask them to come

call back

to telephone someone again, or to telephone someone who telephoned you earlier

call in

to telephone the place where you work and say where you are or what you are doing

call in sick

to telephone the place where you work and say you will not come to work because you are ill

call up

to telephone someone

caller

noun

someone who makes a telephone call

cut off

if someone or something cuts you off when you are talking on the telephone, they make the telephone line stop working

dial

verb

to press the buttons, or to turn the dial, on a telephone in order to call someone

disconnect

verb

to stop the telephone connection between two people or computers

engaged

adjective

if a telephone line is engaged, it is already being used when you call

get

verb

to answer the door or telephone

get

verb

to reach someone by telephone

get through

to be connected to a place by telephone

hang up

to stop using a telephone at the end of a conversation

hold

verb

to wait in order to speak to someone on the telephone. You can also say that you hold the line

jam

verb

if a telephone system jams or is jammed, it stops working because too many people are making calls at the same time

jammed

adjective

a jammed telephone system does not work because too many people are making calls at the same time

misdial

verb

to dial a wrong number when making a telephone call

phone

verb

to use a telephone to call someone

phone back

to phone someone again, or to phone someone who phoned you earlier when you were away or were too busy to speak to them

phone in

to telephone the place where you work in order to give a message

phone in

to telephone a radio or television programme with a question or comment

phone round

to phone several people or companies in order to arrange something or to get information

phone through

to give someone a particular piece of information using the phone

ping

verb

to contact someone by phone or email

put down

to put the telephone receiver back onto its base after you have finished talking to someone

put the phone down on someone

to end a telephone conversation with someone before they have finished speaking

put on

to pass the telephone to someone so they can speak to the person you have been talking to

put through

if you put a person or call through, you connect someone to the person they want to speak to on the telephone

queue

noun

a number of people who have telephoned a place at the same time and are waiting to speak to an operator

redial

verb

to press one or more buttons on a phone for a second time when you are trying to phone someone

ring

verb

to call someone by telephone

ring

verb

if a telephone rings, it makes a sound to show that someone is calling

ring back

to phone someone again

ring back

to phone someone who phoned you earlier

ring in

to phone a place, especially the place where you work or a television or radio station

ring off

to finish a phone call

ring round

to phone several people or companies etc in order to arrange something or to get information

ring through

to phone from one part of a building to another

ring up

to phone someone

ring

noun

a sound produced by a phone when someone calls you

speak

verb

to speak to someone on the telephone

speak

verb

used for telling someone who has called you on the telephone and has asked to talk to you that they are speaking to the right person

telephone

verb

to speak to someone using the telephone

telephonist

noun

someone who works for a business or organization answering the telephone and directing calls to the right people

telephony

noun

the system, technology, or business of telephone communication

that

adverb, conjunction, determiner, pronoun

used for asking who someone is when you are telephoning them

there

adverb, interjection, pronoun

used when asking to speak to someone on the telephone

this

adverb, determiner, pronoun

used when you are saying who you are in a telephone conversation or on the radio or television

through

adjective, adverb, preposition

used for saying that you are connected to someone by phone

transfer

verb

to let someone speak to another person by changing telephone lines for them

wiretap

verb

to connect a special piece of equipment to a telephone wire that lets you listen to conversations secretly. The usual British word is tap.

call in sick

to phone someone at the place where you work to tell them you are too ill to work

call someone collect

to make a phone call that is paid for by the person who receives the call. The British expression is reverse the charges.

give someone a bell

to phone someone

give someone a buzz

to phone someone

give someone a ring

to phone someone

make a (phone) call

to telephone someone

off the hook

if a telephone is off the hook, the receiver (=the part you speak into) has not been put into its place, and so you cannot receive any calls

on hold

waiting to speak to someone on the telephone, after your call has been answered

on the blower

talking on the telephone

on the line

on the telephone

on the telephone

using the telephone to talk to someone

reverse the charges

to make the person who you are calling on the telephone agree to pay for the call

trace something to something

to use electronic equipment to find out where a telephone call was made

food rave

a very large party where people eat, sell or share many different types of food, usually held outside or in a large public building

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grungy

dirty and sometimes untidy or smelling bad

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dead white (European) male

a man … whose achievements may have been overestimated because he belonged to the gender and ethnic group … that was dominant at the time

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