telephone

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English[edit]

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A rotary-dial telephone

Etymology[edit]

tele- +‎ -phone. From French téléphone, from Ancient Greek τῆλε ‎(têle, afar) + φωνή ‎(phōnḗ, voice, sound)

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

telephone ‎(plural telephones)

  1. A telecommunication device (originally mechanical, and now electronic) used for two-way talking with another person (often shortened to phone).
  2. (US) Chinese whispers.

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Verb[edit]

telephone ‎(third-person singular simple present telephones, present participle telephoning, simple past and past participle telephoned)

  1. To (attempt to) contact someone using the telephone.
    • 1913, Robert Barr, chapter 4, Lord Stranleigh Abroad[1]:
      “I came down like a wolf on the fold, didn’t I ?  Why didn’t I telephone ?  Strategy, my dear boy, strategy. This is a surprise attack, and I’d no wish that the garrison, forewarned, should escape. …”

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