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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
call /kɔl/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. to cry out in a loud voice;
    shout: [+ object]to call someone's name.[+ for + object]She called for someone to help her.[+ to + object]He called to his children out on the field.
  2. to ask or invite to come;
    summon:[+ object]Call a doctor, quick!
  3. to communicate or try to communicate with (someone) by telephone: [+ object]She called her boyfriend twice.[no object]I called, but no one was home.
  4. to read over (a list) in a loud voice, as to see whether certain people are there:[+ object]The instructor called the roll.
  5. [+ object] to announce (a meeting, etc.) and invite people to attend;
    convene: He called a meeting for next week.
  6. [+ object] to announce as an authority;
    proclaim: The union leader called a strike.
  7. to direct or attract (attention):[+ object]Let me call your attention to this painting.
  8. to name or address (someone) as (someone or something): [+ object + object]My friends call me Ray.[+ object + by + object]We always called James by his nickname, Jim.
  9. to designate or describe (someone or something) as (someone or something): [ + obj + noun]:She called me a liar.[ + obj + adjective]:I'd call it crazy.
  10. to forecast or predict correctly:[+ object]Last year an economist said a recession was already on the way; well, she called it perfectly.
  11. Sport[+ object] (of a sports official)
    • to pronounce a judgment on (a shot, etc.):The batter was called out on strikes.
    • to put an end to (a contest) because of bad weather, etc.:The officials called the game because of darkness.
  12. to declare as a bet (the side of a coin that will turn up): [+ object]He called heads but it landed tails.[no object]Call while the coin is in the air.
  13. Business[+ object]
    • to demand payment or fulfillment of (a loan or debt):They called his debt of $100,000.
    • (in poker) to bet the same amount as (another bettor ):I called that fifty-cent bet.
  14. Animal Behavior (of a bird or animal) to utter its characteristic cry:[no object]We listened to the birds calling in the meadow.
  15. call back,
    • to request or demand to return;
      recall: [+ back + object]The automobile company called back those defective minivans.[+ object + back]They called the minivans back.
    • to return a telephone call or the telephone call of (someone): [no object]I'll call back in an hour.[+ object + back]I called the salesman back.
  16. call down,
    • to request or pray for: [+ down + object]called down the Lord's mercy on all sinners.[+ object + down]He called the Lord's mercy down on his people.
    • [+ object + down] to reprimand;
      scold:He was called down for his poor work.
  17. call for, [+ for + object]
    • to go or come to get;
      pick up;
      fetch:I'll call for you at seven o'clock.
    • to demand;
      request strongly;
      urge to happen:The students called for an end to tuition increases.
    • to require;
      need:This emergency calls for prompt action.
  18. call off,
    • to summon or take away: [+ off + object]Call off your dog![+ object + off]Call him off!
    • to cancel (something planned): [+ off + object]The teacher called off the test.[+ object + off]to call it off because of the snow.
  19. call on or upon, [+ on/upon + object]
    • to ask;
      appeal to:We call on your generosity.[+ on/upon + object + to + verb]We called upon the President to do something for them.
    • to visit for a short time:He wanted to call on his girlfriend.
  20. call out,
    • to speak in a loud voice;
      shout: [+ object + out]She called my name out and I stood up.[+ out + object]She called out my name.
    • [+ out + object] to summon into service or action: Call out the militia!
  21. call up,
    • to bring forward for consideration or action: [+ up + object]He called up the information from the computer.[+ object + up]Can you call the student's name up and see what his status is?
    • [+ up + object] to cause to remember;
      evoke:The trip called up happy memories of my youth.
    • to make a telephone call to: [+ object + up]When I call you up, your line's busy.[+ up + object]Call up every John Smith until you find the right one.
    • to summon for action, esp. military service: [+ up + object]The Pentagon called up most of the National Guard units.[ + obj + up]:The Pentagon will call them up for duty.

  1. a cry or shout:[countable]I heard a call for help.
  2. Animal Behavior the typical sound or cry of a bird or other animal:[countable]the call of the blue jay.
  3. an act or instance of telephoning:[countable]Give me a call when you're ready.
  4. a short visit:[countable]Let's pay a call on our favorite aunt.
  5. a signal made by a bugle, alarm, etc.:[countable]The firefighters responded to twenty calls during that snowstorm.
  6. a summons, invitation, or bidding:[countable]The emergency squad went out on a call.
  7. [uncountable] fascination or appeal: the call of the wild.
  8. [uncountable] a need or occasion: no call for panic.
  9. [countable] a demand or claim: a call on one's time.
  10. Sport a judgment by an umpire or other official of a contest:[countable]a bad call by the referee.
  1. Idiomson call, readily available for summoning upon short notice:stayed at the hospital on call from 11 to 6.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
call  (kôl),USA pronunciation v.t. 
  1. to cry out in a loud voice;
    shout:He called her name to see if she was home.
  2. to command or request to come;
    summon:to call a dog;to call a cab;to call a witness.
  3. to ask or invite to come:Will you call the family to dinner?
  4. to communicate or try to communicate with by telephone:Call me when you arrive.
  5. to rouse from sleep, as by a call;
    waken:Call me at eight o'clock.
  6. to read over (a roll or a list) in a loud voice.
  7. to convoke or convene:to call Congress into session.
  8. to announce authoritatively;
    proclaim:to call a halt.
  9. to order into effect;
    establish:to call a strike.
  10. to schedule:to call a rehearsal.
  11. to summon by or as if by divine command:He felt called to the ministry.
  12. to summon to an office, duty, etc.:His country called him to the colors.
  13. to cause to come;
    bring:to call to mind; to call into existence.
  14. to bring under consideration or discussion:The judge called the case to court.
  15. to attract or lure (birds or animals) by imitating characteristic sounds.
  16. to direct or attract (attention):He called his roommate's attention to the mess.
  17. to name or address (someone) as:His parents named him James, but the boys call him Jim.
  18. to designate as something specified:He called me a liar.
  19. to think of as something specified;
    estimate:I call that a mean remark.
  20. to demand of (someone) that he or she fulfill a promise, furnish evidence for a statement, etc.:They called him on his story.
  21. to criticize adversely;
    express disapproval of;
    censure:She called him on his vulgar language.
  22. Businessto demand payment or fulfillment of (a loan).
  23. Businessto demand presentation of (bonds) for redemption.
  24. to forecast correctly:He has called the outcome of the last three elections.
  25. Sport(of an official)
    • to pronounce a judgment on (a shot, pitch, batter, etc.):The umpire called the pitch a strike.
    • to put an end to (a contest) because of inclement weather, poor field conditions, etc.:A sudden downpour forced the umpire to call the game.
  26. Games[Pool.]to name (the ball) one intends to drive into a particular pocket.
  27. Computing(in a computer program) to transfer control of to a procedure or subroutine.
  28. Games[Cards.]
    • to demand (a card).
    • to demand the display of a hand by (a player).
    • [Poker.]to equal (a bet) or equal the bet made by (the preceding bettor) in a round.
    • [Bridge.]to signal one's partner for a lead of (a certain card or suit).

  1. to speak loudly, as to attract attention;
    cry:She called to the children.
  2. to make a short visit;
    stop at a place on some errand or business:She called at the store for the package.
  3. to telephone or try to telephone a person:He promised to call at noon.
  4. Games[Cards.]
    • to demand a card.
    • to demand a showing of hands.
    • [Poker.]to equal a bet.
    • [Bridge.]to bid or pass.
  5. Animal Behavior(of a bird or animal) to utter its characteristic cry.
  6. call away, to cause to leave or go;
    summon:A death in the family called him away.
  7. call back: 
    • to summon or bring back;
      recall:He called back the messenger. The actor was called back for a second audition.
    • to revoke;
      retract:to call back an accusation.
  8. call down: 
    • to request or pray for;
      invoke:to call down the wrath of God.
    • to reprimand;
      scold:The boss called us down for lateness.
  9. call for: 
    • to go or come to get;
      pick up;
    • to request;
    • to require;
      need:The occasion calls for a cool head.
  10. call forth, to summon into action;
    bring into existence:to call forth her courage and resolve.
  11. call in: 
    • Businessto call for payment;
    • Businessto withdraw from circulation:to call in gold certificates.
    • to call upon for consultation;
      ask for help:Two specialists were called in to assist in the operation.
    • to inform or report by telephone:Did he call in his decision this morning?
    • to participate in a radio or television program by telephone.
  12. call in or  into question. See  question (def. 12).
  13. Idiomscall in sick. See  sick 1 (def. 13).
  14. call off: 
    • to distract;
      take away:Please call off your dog.
    • to cancel (something) that had been planned for a certain date:The performance was called off because of rain.
  15. call on or  upon: 
    • to ask;
      appeal to:They called on him to represent them.
    • to visit for a short time:to call on friends.
  16. call out: 
    • to speak in a loud voice;
    • to summon into service or action:Call out the militia!
    • to bring out;
      elicit:The emergency called out her hidden abilities.
    • to direct attention to with a callout:to call out each detail in an illustration.
    • Informal Termsto challenge to a fight.
  17. Idiomscall to order. See  order (def. 38).
  18. Computingcall up: 
    • to bring forward for consideration or discussion.
    • to cause to remember;
    • to communicate or try to communicate with by telephone.
    • to summon for action or service:A large number of Army reservists were called up.
    • Computingto summon (information) from a computer system for display on a video screen:She called up the full text.

  1. a cry or shout.
  2. Animal Behaviorthe cry or vocal sound of a bird or other animal.
  3. an instrument for imitating this cry and attracting or luring an animal:He bought a duck call.
  4. an act or instance of telephoning:She went into a telephone booth to place her call.
  5. a short visit:to make a call on someone.
  6. a summons or signal sounded by a bugle, bell, etc.:We live so close to the fort that we can hear the bugle calls.
  7. a summons, invitation, or bidding:The students gathered at the call of the dean.
  8. a calling of a roll;
    roll call.
  9. the fascination or appeal of a given place, vocation, etc.:the call of the sea.
  10. a mystic experience of divine appointment to a vocation or service:He had a call to become a minister.
  11. a request or invitation to become pastor of a church, a professor in a university, etc.
  12. a need or occasion:He had no call to say such outrageous things.
  13. a demand or claim:to make a call on a person's time.
  14. Businessa demand for payment of an obligation, esp. where payment is at the option of the creditor.
  15. Games[Cards.]
    • a demand for a card or a showing of hands.
    • [Poker.]an equaling of the preceding bet.
    • [Bridge.]a bid or pass.
  16. Sporta judgment or decision by an umpire, a referee, or other official of a contest, as on a shot, pitch, or batter:The referees were making one bad call after another.
  17. [Theat.]
    • Show Businessa notice of rehearsal posted by the stage manager.
    • Show BusinessSee  act call. 
    • Show BusinessSee  curtain call. 
  18. Dance, Music and Dancea figure or direction in square dancing, announced to the dancers by the caller.
  19. Banking, BusinessAlso called  call option. [Finance.]an option that gives the right to buy a fixed amount of a particular stock at a predetermined price within a given period of time, purchased by a person who believes the price will rise. Cf. put (def. 47).
  20. Sport[Fox Hunting.]any of several cries, or sounds made on a horn by the hunter to encourage the hounds.
  21. Idiomson call: 
    • Businesspayable or subject to return without advance notice.
    • readily available for summoning upon short notice.
  22. Idioms, Show Businesstake a call, to acknowledge the applause of the audience after a performance by appearing for a bow or a curtain call.
  23. Idiomswithin call, within distance or range of being spoken to or summoned:Please stay within call.
  • Old Norse kalla to call out, conflated with Old English (West Saxon) ceallian to shout; cognate with Middle Dutch kallen to talk, Old High German kallôn to shout, akin to Old English -calla herald, Irish gall swan, Old Church Slavonic glasù voice
  • late Middle English callen, probably 1200–50
    • 2, 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged
    • 12.See corresponding entry in Unabridged Call, invite, summon imply requesting the presence or attendance of someone at a particular place.
      Call is the general word:to call a meeting.To
      invite is to ask someone courteously to come as a guest, a participant, etc., leaving the person free to refuse:to invite guests to a concert; to invite them to contribute to a fund.Summon implies sending for someone, using authority or formality in making the request and (theoretically) not leaving the person free to refuse:to summon a witness, members of a committee, etc.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

call /kɔːl/ vb
  1. (often followed by out) to speak or utter (words, sounds, etc) loudly so as to attract attention: he called out her name
  2. (transitive) to ask or order to come: to call a policeman
  3. (intransitive) sometimes followed by on: to make a visit (to): she called on him
  4. (transitive) to summon to a specific office, profession, etc: he was called to the ministry
  5. (of animals or birds) to utter (a characteristic sound or cry)
  6. (transitive) to summon (a bird or animal) by imitating its cry
  7. (transitive) to name or style: they called the dog Rover
  8. (transitive) to designate: they called him a coward
  9. (transitive) to regard in a specific way: I call it a foolish waste of time
  10. (transitive) to attract (attention)
  11. (transitive) to read (a list, register, etc) aloud to check for omissions or absentees
  12. when tr, usually followed by for: to give an order (for): to call a strike
  13. (intransitive) to try to predict the result of tossing a coin
  14. (transitive) to awaken: I was called early this morning
  15. (transitive) to cause to assemble: to call a meeting
  16. (transitive) (of an umpire, referee, etc) to pass judgment upon (a shot, player, etc) with a call
  17. (transitive) Austral NZ to broadcast a commentary on (a horse race or other sporting event)
  18. (transitive) to demand repayment of (a loan, redeemable bond, security, etc)
  19. (transitive) Brit to award (a student at an Inn of Court) the degree of barrister (esp in the phrase call to the bar)
  20. (transitive) to demand that (a player) expose his hand, after equalling his bet
  21. (intransitive) to make a bid
  22. (in square-dancing) to call out (instructions) to the dancers
  23. to ask (a player) to say what kind of shot he will play or (of a player) to name his shot
  24. (intransitive) followed by for: to require: this problem calls for study
  25. to come or go (for) in order to fetch: I will call for my book later
  26. (intr; followed by on or upon) to make an appeal or request (to): they called upon him to reply
  27. (transitive) to predict the outcome of an event: we don't know yet if the plan has succeeded because it's too soon to call
  28. call into beingto create
  29. call to mindto remember or cause to be remembered
  1. a cry or shout
  2. the characteristic cry of a bird or animal
  3. a device, such as a whistle, intended to imitate the cry of a bird or animal
  4. a summons or invitation
  5. a summons or signal sounded on a horn, bugle, etc
  6. a short visit: the doctor made six calls this morning
  7. an inner urge to some task or profession; vocation
  8. allure or fascination, esp of a place: the call of the forest
  9. need, demand, or occasion: there is no call to shout, we don't get much call for stockings these days
  10. demand or claim (esp in the phrase the call of duty)
  11. a notice to actors informing them of times of rehearsals
  12. a conversation or a request for a connection by telephone
  13. a demand for repayment of a loan
  14. (as modifier): call money
  15. a demand for redeemable bonds or shares to be presented for repayment
  16. a demand for a hand or hands to be exposed
  17. a bid, or a player's turn to bid
  18. a decision or judgment
  19. Austral a broadcast commentary on a horse race or other sporting event

  20. Also called: call option an option to buy a stated amount of securities at a specified price during a specified period
  21. on call(of a loan, etc) repayable on demand
  22. available to be called for work outside normal working hours
  23. within callwithin range; accessible

See also call down, call forth, call in, call off, call out, call upEtymology: Old English ceallian; related to Old Norse kalla, Old High German kallōn, Old Slavonic glasǔ voice

'call' also found in these entries:

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