telephone


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to telephone: telephone service

play telephone tag

To engage in a series of telephone calls with another person in which each time one party calls, the other is not available to answer. Hi Mary, just leaving you another message. We've been playing a bit of telephone tag today, huh? Just give me a call back whenever you get this, thanks!
See also: play, tag, telephone

telephone tag

A series of telephone calls made between two people in which each time one party calls, the other is not available to answer. Hi Mary, just leaving you another message. We've had a bit of telephone tag today, huh? Just give me a call back whenever you get this, thanks!
See also: tag, telephone

be on the phone

To be talking on the telephone. The boss is on the phone right now, but I can tell her you stopped by.
See also: on, phone

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

talk on the big white (tele)phone

slang To vomit profusely and at length into a toilet. He had a few too many shots of tequila and spent the rest of the night talking on the big white telephone. You're awfully pale, Charlie. You look like you need to talk on the big white phone.
See also: big, on, talk, white

talk to God on the big white (tele)phone

slang To vomit profusely and at length into a toilet. He had a few too many shots of tequila and spent the rest of the night talking to God on the big white telephone. You're awfully pale, Charlie. You look like you need to talk to God on the big white phone.
See also: big, god, on, talk, white

talk to Hughie on the big white (tele)phone

slang To vomit profusely and at length into a toilet. "Hughie" is likely used as an onomatopoeia for the sound of someone retching. He had a few too many shots of tequila and spent the rest of the night talking to Hughie on the big white telephone. You're awfully pale, Charlie. You look like you need to talk to Hughie on the big white phone.
See also: big, Hughie, on, talk, white

talk to Huey on the big white (tele)phone

slang To vomit profusely and at length into a toilet. "Huey" is slang for "vomit," likely as an onomatopoeia for the sound one makes when vomiting. He had a few too many shots of tequila and spent the rest of the night talking to Huey on the big white telephone. You're awfully pale, Charlie. You look like you need to talk to Huey on the big white phone.
See also: big, Huey, on, talk, white

talk to Ralph on the big white (tele)phone

slang To vomit profusely and at length into a toilet. "Ralph" is slang meaning "to vomit." He had a few too many shots of tequila and spent the rest of the night talking to Ralph on the big white telephone. You're awfully pale, Charlie. You look like you need to talk to Ralph on the big white phone.
See also: big, on, ralph, talk, white

telephone in

1. To call a specific location on the telephone, especially in order to relay or transmit certain information. A noun can be used between "telephone" and "in" to specify the purpose or content of the call. We're encouraging our listeners to telephone in with their answers to our Sunday quiz. Please telephone your findings in as soon as possible.
2. To perform a role or duty in a halfhearted, disinterested, or unprofessional manner. More commonly shortened to "phone in." A noun or pronoun can be used between "telephone" and "in." Everyone telephones it in on the morning after a staff party. I'm sure he got a good paycheck for the voiceover, so you'd think he could do better than telephoning in his performance
See also: telephone

telephone into (some place)

To call a specific location on the telephone, especially in order to relay or transmit certain information. A noun can be used between "telephone" and "in" to specify the purpose or content of the call. We're encouraging our listeners to telephone into the station with their answers to our Sunday quiz. Please telephone your findings into the main office as soon as possible.
See also: telephone

get onto the phone

To begin talking to someone on the telephone. The full word "telephone" can be used as well. The boss just got onto the phone, but I can tell her you stopped by. Holly gets onto the phone with her boyfriend as soon as she comes home from school every day—it's so annoying.
See also: get, phone

*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

telephone something in (to someone)

to call someone on the telephone, usually to give particular information. (The person called is in a special location, such as one's workplace or headquarters.) I will telephone my report in to my secretary. I telephoned in my report. I will telephone it in tomorrow.
See also: telephone

Who do you want?

 and Who do you want to talk to?; Who do you want to speak to?; Who do you wish to speak to?; Who do you wish to talk to?
Who do you want to speak to over the telephone? (All these questions can also begin with whom. Compare this with With whom do you wish to speak?) Sue: Wilson residence. Who do you want to speak to? Bill: Hi, Sue. I want to talk to you. Tom (answering the phone): Hello? Sue: Hello, who is this? Tom: Who do you wish to speak to? Sue: Is Sally there? Tom: Just a minute.
See also: who

be on the ˈtelephone/ˈphone


1 be using the telephone: Mr Perkins is on the telephone but he’ll be with you in a moment.You’re wanted (= somebody wants to speak to you) on the telephone.
2 (British English) have a telephone in your home or place of work: They live on a small island and are not on the phone.
See also: on, phone, telephone
References in classic literature ?
Until nearly ten o'clock that night the judges talked and listened by turns at the telephone. Then, next morning, they brought the apparatus to the judges' pavilion, where for the remainder of the summer it was mobbed by judges and scientists.
The subject of the work is the preparation of the Project Documentation for Building Permit and the construction of the "Transit Telephone Network Reconstruction", which aims to reconstruct existing transit telephone exchanges based on MD 110 for a new IP telephone exchange.
KATHERINE HADEN Solicitor Area: Lichfield and Sutton Coldfield Telephone: 01543 420000 Email: khaden@keelys.co.uk Website: www.keelys.
Bell demonstrates the new telephone connection between New York and Chicago in 1892.
However, the number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 1,151.78mn at the end of December 2016 to 1,190.67mn at the end of December 2017, registering a yearly growth rate of 3.38%.
Kohler, commander, Naval Information Forces, placed the last call through one of NCTAMS LANT'S telephone operators to the Commanding Officer, Naval Facilities Engineering Command.
Ellsworth Cooperative Telephone Association (Ellsworth)
Back in the day, that telephone exchange was preceded by another at 19 Newhall Street, just down from Colmore Row.
With the 415/628 area code overlay, customers must dial 1 plus the three-digit area code for all calls to and from telephone numbers with the 415 and 628 area codes.
Explaining the telephone problem of the city, Mr Sather Ayoob, General Manager, Telephones, told that a 10,000line exchange in the central exchange zone and a 2,000-line exchange in Nazimabad will be ready by 2014, to enable the Telephone Department to clear over 80 per cent of the pending applications for new connections by the end of the next year.
Several members immediately offered assistance, and Levoy Knowles, chief executive officer of Ben Lomand Telephone Cooperative (McMinnville, Tenn.), offered to coordinate relief efforts.
* This study was the first to investigate the microbial flora of public telephone mouthpieces during the summer at a large urban U.S.
Voipfone, an Internet telephone service provided by Inet Telecoms Ltd, has launched a new telephone service using ordinary BT telephone landlines and existing telephone equipment.
Requirements: Filers may determine the actual amount of refundable long-distance telephone excise taxes paid for the 41 months from March 2003-July 2006, or use a formula to figure their refunds.
Cellular and land-line telephone owners may not be aware that a number of unscrupulous companies are selling their confidential information to third parties.