Date: 1800-1900
Origin: tele- + Greek phone 'sound, voice'


1 noun
Related topics: Telephone, Telegraph
tel‧e‧phone1 S1 W2

the telephone

TCT the system of communication that you use to have a conversation with someone in another place [= phone]
by telephone
Reservations can be made by telephone.
on the telephone
I've never met him, but I've spoken to him on the telephone.
over the telephone
I read the names out to him over the telephone.
down the telephone British English
He shouted at me down the telephone.
I had a long telephone conversation with her yesterday.
2 [countable]TCT the piece of equipment that you use when you are talking to someone by telephone [= phone]:
The telephone rang just as I was leaving.
She picked up the telephone and dialled a number.
I said goodbye and put down the telephone.

be on the telephone

a) TCT to be talking to someone, using the telephone:
I was on the telephone when he came in.
b) TCT to have a telephone in your home, office etc
see usage note call1

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