Meaning of “phone” in the English Dictionary

"phone" in British English

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phonenoun

uk /fəʊn/ us /foʊn/

phone noun (PHONE)

A1 [ C or U ] formal telephone a device that uses either a system of wires along which electrical signals are sent or a system of radio signals to make it possible for you to speak to someone in another place who has a similar device:

Just then, his phone rang.
Could you answer the phone?
We speak on the/by phone about twice a week.
You had three phone calls this morning.
If the phone lines are busy, please try again later.
Could you pick the phone up for me - my hands are wet.
I left the phone off the hook, so it wouldn't ring.
I was so angry I just put/slammed the phone down (on her) (= replaced it before our conversation was finished).
be on the phone

to be using the phone:

That son of mine is on the phone all day!

UK to have a landline in the home:

Are the Middletons on the phone at their cottage, do you know?

More examples

  • Just as I was sitting down to watch TV, the phone rang.
  • Every time I ring her, the phone is engaged.
  • We've spoken on the phone but never face-to-face.
  • After he was attacked, he managed to stagger to the phone and call for help.
  • "There's someone on the phone for you." "What do they want?"

phoneverb [ I or T ]

uk /fəʊn/ us /foʊn/

A1 to communicate with someone by phone:

She phoned just after lunch.
He's phoned me (up) every day this week.

More examples

  • Hadn't you better phone home? Your parents will be wondering where you are.
  • He said he'd phone back first thing tomorrow.
  • I tried to phone her but couldn't get through.
  • The shop phoned to say your order has come in.
  • Who could be phoning us at this unearthly hour?

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “phone” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"phone" in American English

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phonenoun [ C ]

us /foʊn/

short form oftelephone:

The phone is ringing – would you answer it?
phone
verb [ I/T ] us /foʊn/

[ I ] Fernando phoned just after lunch.

(Definition of “phone” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"phone" in Business English

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phonenoun [ C ]

uk /fəʊn/ us COMMUNICATIONS

a piece of electronic equipment which makes it possible for you to speak to someone in another place who has similar equipment, using either electrical signals sent along a system of wires, or radio signals:

over the phone You can arrange a mortgage online, over the phone, or through a meeting.
by phone The company can be reached by phone on this number.
on the phone She has spent hours on the phone in recent weeks, talking to negotiators in a labour dispute.

phoneverb [ I or T ]

uk /fəʊn/ us COMMUNICATIONS

to communicate with someone by phone:

Someone phoned while you were at lunch.
Phone him and ask if he's free this afternoon.
See also

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “phone” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)