phone in

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
(Redirected from phone it in)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: phone-in



  • (file)


phone in (third-person singular simple present phones in, present participle phoning in, simple past and past participle phoned in)

  1. To deliver a message by telephone when etiquette demands the effort and respect conveyed by communication in person.
  2. To make a telephone call to a broadcasting station, especially to participate in a program being aired.
  3. As phone it in (idiomatic) To fulfill a responsibility with a minimum effort rather than the appropriate level of effort.
    • 1998 January 12, “It's All About Timing”, in TIME:
      But here was someone who could have been paid regally for just phoning it in for another year or two willing instead to throw that all away
    • 2000 April 26, Candy Sagon, “All Talk, No Cooking”, in Washington Post:
      his new show with Julia Child -- "Julia and Jacques Cooking At Home" on WMPT Channel 22 -- is a clever marketing stroke, but at times both of these veteran teachers seem to be phoning it in.
    • 2008 October 6, “Getting Offensive; How Will Voters Respond?”, in ABC GMA:
      And I think our campaign put a lot more on the line, frankly, to try to solve that problem than Senator Obama, who tried to phone it in.
  4. To make an unseemly, timid performance; to be restrained and timid when bold action is called for.