on the telephone

on the telephone

Currently using a telephone to talk to another person. Please be quiet! Can't you see I'm on the telephone? I was on the telephone for nearly three hours trying to get through to a customer service representative.
See also: on, telephone

*on the telephone

 and *on the phone
Fig. speaking on the telephone. (*Typically: be ~; get ~.) She's on the phone but won't be long. Please take a seat while I'm on the phone. Get on the phone and call him back immediately!
See also: on, telephone
References in classic literature ?
Someone wishes to speak to your ladyship on the telephone," the girl announced.
She was amazed to find herself already committed by William and Cassandra to marry the owner of the halting voice she had just heard on the telephone.