Meaning of “telephone” in the English Dictionary

"telephone" in British English

See all translations

telephonenoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈtel.ɪ.fəʊn/ us /ˈtel.ə.foʊn/


  • She spends hours and hours on the telephone.
  • She hurried to answer the telephone.
  • I like to have a telephone at my bedside.
  • He sounded very depressed when we spoke on the telephone yesterday.
  • I was just getting into the bath when the telephone rang.

telephoneverb [ I or T ]

uk /ˈtel.ɪ.fəʊn/ us /ˈtel.ə.foʊn/

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

"telephone" in American English

See all translations

telephonenoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈtel·əˌfoʊn/ also phone

a device for speaking to someone in another place by means of electrical signals:

[ C ] Your telephone is ringing.
[ U ] I tried to reach her by telephone.
verb [ T ] us /ˈtel·əˌfoʊn/

Palmer telephoned her attorney.

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

"telephone" in Business English

See all translations

telephonenoun [ C ]

uk /ˈtelɪfəʊn/ us COMMUNICATIONS

a piece of electronic equipment that 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; a phone:

the telephone service
a telephone company/network
a telephone number
You can redeem up to $50,000 of your shares by telephone.
on/over the telephone The research aims to describe how people sell on the telephone.

See also

telephoneverb [ I or T ]

uk /ˈtelɪfəʊn/ us COMMUNICATIONS

to communicate with someone using a phone; to phone someone:

Before you invest, telephone the Shareholder Service Center to get an account number.
Sometimes, it's quicker and easier to telephone, rather than sending an email.
For more information, telephone the number at the bottom of the screen.

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