The original meaning was 'sundial' and/or 'clock dial'; from Middle English diall, from Middle French dyal, from Latin diālis (“daily, concerning the day”), because of its use in telling the time of day, from Latin diēs (“day”). Compare Spanish dial and día (“day”).
dial (plural dials)
- A graduated, circular scale over which a needle moves to show a measurement (such as speed).
- The dial on the dashboard showed the car was nearly out of gas.
- A clock face.
- A sundial.
- A panel on a radio etc showing wavelengths or channels; a knob that is turned to change the wavelength etc.
- Turn the dial to Radio 4: my favourite show is on!
- A disk with finger holes on a telephone; used to select the number to be called.
- His hands were too fat to operate the dial on the telephone.
- (UK, Australia, slang) A person's face. [from 19th c.]
- 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter 9, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, OCLC 1227855:
- At the sound of the old familiar voice he spun around with something of the agility of a cat on hot bricks, and I saw that his dial, usually cheerful, was contorted with anguish, as if he had swallowed a bad oyster.
- 2006, Alexis Wright, Carpentaria, Giramondo 2012, p. 137:
- Old Mona Lisa would have looked like a sour lemon beside Angel Day on the rare days she put a smile on her dial, laughing with her friends when some new man was in town.
- A miner's compass.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- (transitive) To control or select something with a dial, or (figuratively) as if with a dial.
- The president has recently dialled down the rhetoric.
- (transitive) To select a number, or to call someone, on a telephone.
- In an emergency dial 999.
- (intransitive) To use a dial or a telephone.
- Please be careful when dialling.
- Dialing and dialed are more common in the US. Dialling and dialled are more common elsewhere.
dial m (plural diales)
- “dial” in Diccionario de la lengua española, Vigésima tercera edición, Real Academia Española, 2014.
|Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every|
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.
- R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present), “dial”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies