dial

(redirected from dialled)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

butt-dial

1. verb, slang To call someone accidentally while one's cell phone is in one's pocket, especially the back one. No one was on the line when I answered—I guess they must have butt-dialed me. A: "Mom! Quit butt-dialing me!" B: "Oh, did I call you again? Why does that keep happening?" Amanda, I just butt-dialed Jared from Chem class, and he heard me talking about how cute I think he is! Oh, I'm going to die of embarrassment!
2. noun, slang Such a phone call. It must be a butt-dial—I can hear music faintly in the background, but no one answers when I say hello. A: "Mom, I think I just got another butt-dial from you." B: "Again? Oh dear, how did that happen?"

dial (one) back

To call one back. I'm sorry, my phone is about to die. Let me go grab my charger, and I'll dial you back in a few minutes, OK? Stu just walked in. Let me see where he stands on this, and I'll dial you back.
See also: back, dial

dial back

To lessen something, especially in intensity. I could barely move my arms all week—I guess it's time to dial back the workouts!
See also: back, dial

dial down

To lessen something, especially in intensity. I could barely move my arms all week—I guess it's time to dial down the workouts!
See also: dial, down

dial in

1. To connect (to someone or some place) by phone or other calling platform. A number of our listeners have been dialing in to tell us their opinions on this matter. Ted couldn't be here in person for the meeting, but he's going to dial in from Chicago.
2. To connect someone to a phone call or a call on another calling platform. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dial" and "in." I've been trying to dial in our IT specialist to help with the problem, but he isn't answering his phone. We can start the meeting as soon as we've dialed Karen in.
3. To input a particular number or numbers on a phone or other calling platform. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dial" and "in." You have to remember to dial in the country code for the call to connect. Some guy answered the call. I must have dialed the wrong number in.
4. To relay or transmit information (to someone or some place) with or as with a phone. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dial" and "in." Make sure you dial in the incident immediately, or we could be held legally liable for it. If you have any news tip for us to broadcast on air, don't hesitate to dial it in!
5. To achieve a particular setting or configuration using a dial or similar instrument. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dial" and "in." I know it's time consuming, but you'll get a much better sound if you take a couple minutes to dial in the right guitar tone. I've been trying to dial the signal in, but I'm just getting static.
6. To perform a role or duty in a halfhearted, disinterested, and unprofessional manner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dial" and "in," especially in the form "dial it in." Everyone dials it in on the morning after a staff party, so don't worry if you don't feel able to give this report your all. You can tell the actor is dialing it in—I'm sure he got a good paycheck for the voiceover, but you'd think he could try a little bit harder.
See also: dial

dial into

1. To connect to someone or some place by phone or other calling platform. A number of our listeners have been dialing into the station to tell us their opinions on this matter. Ted's going to dial into the meeting from Chicago.
2. To connect someone to a phone call or a call on another calling platform. A noun or pronoun is used between "dial" and "into." I've been trying to dial our IT specialist into the call to help with the problem, but he isn't answering his phone. We can start as soon as we've dialed Karen into the meeting.
3. To input a particular number or numbers on a phone or other calling platform. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dial" and "into." You'll need to write the number down and then dial it into your phone.
4. To adjust something into a particular position or setting using a rotating mechanism, such as a dial. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dial" and "into." If you want to take the work out of photography, you can dial the camera into "auto" and let it adjust the focus and exposure for you. There are many different knobs that allow you to dial the machine into exactly the right position.
See also: dial

dial up

1. verb To call someone on the telephone. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "dial" and "up." Well, then dial Joe up and see what he has to say about all this!
2. noun A method of connecting to the Internet via a telephone line. In this usage, the phrase is usually hyphenated. Remember the terrible sound that dial-up used to make? Yikes.
3. adjective Describing a method of connecting to the Internet via a telephone line. In this usage, the phrase is usually hyphenated. Remember how slow dial-up Internet used to be? Yikes.
See also: dial, up

pocket dial

1. verb To inadvertently make a phone call by accidentally sitting or otherwise pressing on one's phone (typically when it is in one's pocket). A: "Do you know why Grandma called me last night?" B: "Oh, I think she just pocket dialed you."
2. noun The act of making such a phone call. I was excited when Jill called me for the first time in months, but she didn't actually want to talk to me—it was just a pocket dial.
See also: dial, pocket

rotary dial

The disk on a rotary telephone that is turned to dial a phone number. I hated having to use a rotary dial as a kid—it's so much easier to dial a phone number by pressing buttons.
See also: dial

wrong number

1. An incorrect telephone number. A: "Hello, is this the Thompson residence?" B: "Sorry, wrong number." A: "Hello, FlemCo Customer Support, Tracy speaking. How may I help you?" B: "Oops, I must have the wrong number."
2. A caller who is trying or tried to reached a different telephone number. A: "Who was that on the phone?" B: "I don't know, must have been a wrong number." I figured it was a wrong number because of how late it was, so I didn't bother answering it.
See also: number, wrong
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*wrong number

 
1. Lit. an incorrect telephone number. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; dial ~; give someone ~.) He got the wrong number and hung up. When a young child answered, I knew I had the wrong number.
2. Fig. [a state of being] incorrect, late, inaccurate, etc. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone ~.) Boy, do you have the wrong number! Get with it! You have missed the boat again. You have the wrong number!
See also: number, wrong
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

dial up

v.
To telephone someone or something: I dialed up my dentist and made an appointment. Would you dial your sister up and ask her what time she's coming over?
See also: dial, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
See also: