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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 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

*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

dial up

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
References in periodicals archive ?
When I am working to make my laboratory OSHA-compliant, I will think of the dial painters and, rather than grumble about the extra work, I will be grateful for the protections we have in labs and industry thanks to the radium girls, whose fierce persistence led to the formation of OSHA and other organizations.
New dial colours: With two new distinct models in stainless steel and rose gold, the Da Vinci Automatic sets new colour accents: The silvered dial of the Ref.
For a variety of astronomical reasons sundials and clocks are usually `out-of-step.' This may appear to be inaccuracy, but the solar time shown by the dial is easily converted to accurate clock time.
"But after June 5, 1999, callers who dial a seven-digit number will hear a recorded message instructing them to dial both the area code and telephone number," she added.
Dial the international access code (011) and the country code (44) as usual.
Easily mounted on fixtures, dial indicators are particularly effective in hostile environments where special versions protect the gear train against dust, water, and oil mist.
Three sub-dials in light blue stand out on the chronograph's sun-brushed dial.
After training in both techniques, the participants completed the composite model, in which each participant was allowed to dial according to his or her preference, using any combination of the enlarging techniques and regular dialing.
Users choose a client's number from the Palm's address book and select the dial option.
The mechanical revolution continues with Sistem Sea and its sun-brushed dark blue dial with multicolored print index.
The sparkling diamond frame puts the Da Vinci Automatic into the realm of highest aesthetic form, and the new fresh colours of the dial and hour numbers at "12.00" and "6.00", in place of the stroke indices, add to the impression.
The aluminum dial features a turquoise and warm gray print.
The light-blue dial features a printed paper airplane and is wrapped in a matte light-blue plastic case.
There's a sun-brushed silver dial, 6 o'clock date window and blue and red print across the dial, bezel and band.