call an audible

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call an audible (third-person singular simple present calls an audible, present participle calling an audible, simple past and past participle called an audible)

  1. (American football) To change the play at the line of scrimmage by yelling out a new one.
  2. (US, idiomatic) To change plans at the last minute based on newly revealed information.
    • 1997 October 29, James R. Oestreich, “Juilliard Quartet's Musical Chairs; Sounding Board for the New, Strings Attached to the Old”, in The New York Times:
      Mr. Krosnick explained with the help of a football analogy. "If somebody called an audible, we'd be right there [] It has always been that way. We never did that much planning. All the talk and analysis was intended to outline the parameters of our instincts."
    • 2001 December 5, Jim Hoagland, “'Calling Audibles'”, in The Washington Post:
      "We will be calling audibles every time we come to the line," one participant recalls [Condoleezza Rice] saying to [Bush] then.
    • 2004, Richard L. Armitage, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations for 2005: Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Eighth Congress, Second Session, Part 5: Iraq Reconstruction Program, U.S. Government Printing Office, page 10:
      We found this insurgency much more virile than we expected, so we called an audible.
    • 2008, Doug Fields & Duffy Robbins, Speaking to Teenagers: How to Think About, Create, and Deliver Effective Messages, Zondervan/Youth Specialties, page 28:
      Based on that decoding process, we may need to call an audible and either fine-tune or change channels in an attempt to help teenagers decode our messages more accurately.
    • 2014, Christopher R. Hill, Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy: A Memoir, Simon & Schuster, page 216:
      I reflected on what must have been their instructions, and what would have been the consequences for them of not following them, or of calling an audible, not a concept known in the North Korean foreign ministry.