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call Line breaks: call

Definition of call in English:


1 [with object and complement] Give (a baby or animal) a specified name: they called their daughter Hannah
More example sentences
  • When my husband and I were first married we had a cat we called Wanda.
  • Morel gives birth to their third child, whom she calls Paul.
  • Daisy, as we called the goat, would hate to be separated from her lambs and it was woe betide any dog that came near them.
archaic clepe
(be called)answer to the name of, go by the name of
1.1 (be called) Have a specified name: her companion was called Ethel a book called Street Life in London
More example sentences
  • There is an extremely popular family restaurant in Bandra called Papa Pancho.
  • This game is called "Mighty No.9".
  • I did write an article for the Pleasantville High School newspaper, which I think was called The Panther.
1.2Address or refer to (someone) by a specified name, title, etc. please call me Bob if he remains quiet she calls him a wimp
More example sentences
  • I heard one girl called her a 'tomboy'.
  • The reporter called her a "good-looking, smart, gin-drinking suburbanite."
  • Let's analyze the stupidity of your comment to Jack below, where you called him a loser.
1.3Refer to or consider (someone or something) as being: he’s the only person I would call a friend
More example sentences
  • Since then, he has entered what you might call a rough patch.
  • Whether it is what you might call professional misconduct may be another matter.
  • For five nights, we were on what you might call a floating hotel.
describe as, regard as, look on as, consider to be, judge to be, think of as, class as, categorize as
2 [with object] Cry out (a word or words): he heard an insistent voice calling his name Meredith was already calling out a greeting
More example sentences
  • Madison makes her way out the door, calling goodbye to Robert over her shoulder.
  • One day I found myself running home from the bus stop, calling out goodbyes to Tracy and Brian.
  • Jennifer blew kisses to visiting reporters and called out "hi, hi."
2.1Cry out to (someone) in order to summon them or attract their attention: she heard Terry calling her [no object]: I distinctly heard you call
More example sentences
  • The cat heard me call and ran up to me.
  • I turned around and ran, but stopped on the stairs when he called after me.
  • As she started to leave the office, Max called after her.
2.2 [no object] (Of an animal, especially a bird) make its characteristic cry: overhead, a skylark called
More example sentences
  • The wolves were calling again, at about 4:45 a.m.
  • When you hear a pack of wolves calling, you don't pay attention to anything else.
  • The birds kept calling as they shuffled about, and I tried my best to let the sound sink into my brain.
2.3Shout out or chant (the steps and figures) to people performing a square dance or country dance.
Example sentences
  • Listen to the music and of course, listen to the leader calling the steps.
  • The caller walks everyone through the dance moves, and continues calling the steps until they are familiar enough so that the dancers do not need to have them repeated.
  • The Squire leads the side and calls the figures of the dances from within the set.
2.4 Bridge Make (a particular bid) during the auction: her partner called 6♠
More example sentences
  • A bid can only be overcalled by calling a lower card of the same suit as the original bid.
  • Then the next player calls, and so on until all cards have been called.
  • Betting then commences in a poker style manner, until the bet has been called.
2.5North American informal Claim (a specified privilege) for oneself, typically by shouting out a particular word or set phrase: I call first dibs on the bathroom
More example sentences
  • "I call front seat by the window," he yelled to Simon as they raced toward the car.
  • “I call front seat,” one of the kids will shout out.
  • Meet us at the jump ropes. Delores and I call first up!
3 [with object] Contact or attempt to contact (a person or number) by phone: could I call you back? he called her on Monday but her phone was switched off the driver called 999
More example sentences
  • I pride myself in either taking the call or calling the person back within an hour.
  • I'll call you back soon.
  • People, like the man whose apartment didn't have a door, can call the 800 number for help at any time.
3.1Use a phone to summon (someone or something, especially an emergency service or a taxi): her husband called an ambulance
More example sentences
  • The woman in the museum reception was kind enough to call a cab.
  • We called a cab to take us to the club.
  • Do not allow yourself or anyone else to become dangerously ill before calling a doctor or going to a hospital.
4 [with object] Order or request the attendance of: representatives of all three teams have been called to appear before the Monaco stewards I got a letter calling me for an interview
More example sentences
  • Research has shown that people with high Positive Affect were more likely to get called back for second interviews.
  • He served briefly as a Private First Class in the Marines before being called back for a secret position with the CIA.
  • The next workshop will be held on September where educational institutions will be called upon to attend.
4.1Bring (a witness) into court to give evidence: four expert witnesses were called
More example sentences
  • He has not given evidence or called any witnesses on his behalf.
  • Officials are still deciding which former employees will be called to give evidence.
  • Two Indiana State Police forensic scientists were also called to testify.
4.2Cause (someone) to have a strong urge to choose a particular way of life or career: he was called to the priesthood [with infinitive]: I think teachers, really good teachers, are called to teach
More example sentences
  • When he is called to follow the Lord, she turns her back on both the man and his God.
  • He felt called to make the world a better place by becoming a minister.
  • I was 19 years old when I first heard God calling me to religious life.
5 [with object] Announce or decide that (an event, especially a meeting, election, or strike) is to happen: there appeared to be no alternative but to call a general election he called an emergency meeting to discuss the matter with councillors and residents the Allied forces called a ceasefire
More example sentences
  • The findings were quickly taken up by Gov. Pat McCrory, who called a press conference on the issue.
  • Griffith had not asked for me at all; he had called a press conference.
  • The findings were quickly taken up by Governor McCrory, who called a press conference on the issue.
convene, summon, call together, order, assemble;
arrange, arrange a time/date for;
announce, declare
formal convoke
6 [no object] chiefly British (Of a person) pay a brief visit: I’ve got to call at the bank to get some cash he had promised Celia he would call in at the clinic do call round if you’re ever in the area
More example sentences
  • His old schoolmaster called by and launched into an analysis of American politics.
  • At one point, Karen's neighbour calls by to complain that work on the beach is "bringing all sorts to the area".
  • He rang her constantly, called round unexpectedly and even entered the house uninvited.
pay a visit to, pay a brief visit to, visit, pay a call on, call in on, look in on
informal drop in on, drop by, stop by, pop into
6.1 (call at) (Of a train or coach) stop at (a specified station or stations) on a particular route: the 8.15 service to Paddington, calling at Reading
More example sentences
  • Travellers were warned that several South West train services are not calling at certain stations along several routes.
  • But rail users say any plans to stop trains calling at Oxenholme are unacceptable.
  • Regular trains to Leeds also call at some local stops such as Garforth and New Pudsey.
7 [with object and complement] (Of an umpire or other official in a game) pronounce (a ball, stroke, etc.) to be the thing specified: the linesman called the ball wide
More example sentences
  • The umpire called the ball out.
  • To me, the worst thing in baseball is when the pitcher is scared to throw the ball over the plate, and then the umpire calls it a strike when it's a foot outside!
  • The ball went in and out of the seats in such a way that the umpire called it a double rather than a homer.
7.1 [with object] Cricket (Of an umpire) no-ball (a bowler) for throwing: he was called for throwing in the match against Hampshire
More example sentences
  • Jones was first called for throwing against England at Melbourne in 1897-8.
  • And they called bowlers for throwing as soon as the bending and straightening of the arm became obvious to the naked eye.
  • I am one of those rare people who supports the umpire's action of calling him for throwing.
7.2 [with object] Predict the result of (a future event, especially an election or a vote): in the Midlands the race remains too close to call few pundits risked calling the election for either Bush or Kerry
More example sentences
  • Hats off to you, Miguel, because on May 5 you called it - you said it was a shoo-in.
  • The personalised nature of the bid battle makes the outcome hard to call, analysts said.
  • Still, analysts call the race dead even.
7.3 [with object] Guess (the outcome) of tossing a coin: Burnley called heads and won the toss [no object]: ‘You call,’ he said. ‘Heads or tails?’
More example sentences
  • More importantly, though, that winner would have correctly called the toss something like 16 times in a row.
  • The players in the group then establish a playing order by calling coin tosses, chipping toward a tee marker, or any other simple method.
  • There was even a cheer and a bout of fist-clenching when Burnley called heads and won the toss to decide who went first.
8 [with object] Computing Cause (a subroutine) to be executed: one subroutine may call another subroutine (or itself)
More example sentences
  • To call C routines from a Fortran program, you will have to write some C code.
  • Metadata that is generated establishes a mapping of interface parameters to the routine parameters of the called routine.
  • A shared library delays the binding of a routine name to its executable function until the routine is first called when your program runs.


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1A cry made as a summons or to attract someone’s attention: a nearby fisherman heard their calls for help in response to the call, a figure appeared
More example sentences
  • Rescue workers moved in, picking over debris and listening for calls for help.
  • I heard her muffled call from the car.
  • My feet abruptly started walking faster after I heard Yori's call.
1.1The characteristic cry of a bird or other animal: it is best distinguished by its call, a loud ‘pwit’
More example sentences
  • The walk was barely under way when Julie heard the call of a white-eyed vireo, a little yellow and gray summer visitor.
  • The place resounded with the calls of birds as they settled down for the night, even as people walked into the tastefully decorated frontyard.
  • But he was unable to photograph them, or even record the birds' calls.
cry, song, sound
1.2 [with modifier] A series of notes sounded on a brass instrument as a signal to do something: a bugle call to rise at 8.30
More example sentences
  • Toward the end of one song, David Johnson busted out a cavalry call on the trumpet.
  • Performing the poignant trumpet call is the 92-year-old's way of honouring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for Queen and country.
  • The bugle call sounded at retreat was first used in the French Army and dates back to the crusades.
1.3A direction in a square dance given by the caller.
Example sentences
  • Wilma said the calls make square dancing easy to learn.
  • Square dances, with many of the calls in French, also became popular in the twentieth century.
  • In traditional square dancing the timing of a call is fitted to the music.
1.4 Bridge A bid, response, or double: the alternative call of 2♠ would be quite unsound
More example sentences
  • In some schedules a solo is worth more if you bid it over a previous call of misère or piek.
  • Five and six are no longer available, as this player has already used all his opportunities for these calls.
  • Then betting commences with raises, calls and folds as usual.
2An instance of speaking to someone on the phone or attempting to contact someone by phone: I’ll give you a call at around five he stopped returning her calls a ten-minute call to the emergency services
More example sentences
  • The Department of Agriculture has received calls from consumers worried about whether they consumed some of the recalled beef.
  • My late afternoon siesta was interrupted by a call from Graham.
  • She works by herself on the floor and is constantly interrupted by calls on her mobile and fixed-line phones.
British ring
informal buzz
British informal bell, tinkle
3A brief visit, especially one made for social reasons: we paid a call on Ben and his family
More example sentences
  • As Vettel was making his first pit call on lap 14, the Finn was seen leaving the circuit.
  • The video shows the first port call of the world's largest ship in the port of Busan in South Korea.
  • I paid some calls to old friends in Manhattan.
3.1A visit or journey made by a doctor or other professional in response to a request for help, especially in an emergency situtation: the ambulance is out on a call the district nurse for the local villages used to make her calls on a bicycle
More example sentences
  • One of the most common home repair calls in Florida is for fascia damage, which is particularly susceptible to water damage.
  • In many city fire departments, firefighters are sent home after two calls.
  • Unless you know a psychologist that does home calls it will be difficult to get her help that she knows she needs but refuses to get.
4An appeal or demand for something to happen or be done: the call for action was welcomed a call to all sides to remain calm and refrain from violence there are more and more calls on his time
More example sentences
  • Mr O'Farrell has acknowledged she acted badly but doesn't seem to be heeding the opposition's call to sack her.
  • If you are a researcher, you have many calls on your time.
  • Set out what money you have coming in on one side and your outgoings on the other (rent/mortgage, food, clothing, and any other calls on your income).
appeal, request, plea, entreaty;
demand, order, command
4.1 [mass noun, usually with negative] (call for) Demand, need, or reason for: there is little call for antique furniture there’s no call for secrecy anywhere in a free government
More example sentences
  • Many superhero enthusiasts may have been disheartened by the Superman Returns version and there was not much call for a sequel.
  • The team is still under strength but there is some call for optimism.
  • There was little call for healthfood at the Olympic Village as the games came to an end.
need, necessity, occasion, reason, justification, grounds, excuse, pretext;
demand, desire, want, requirement, need;
5 [usually in singular] An order or request for someone to be present: he was delighted that so many former players had heeded the call to attend the conference
More example sentences
  • The call to return to the battlefield is one heeded by many veterans through the ages.
  • I thank God that I heeded my wife's call to attend our church's vigil in Ebute Meta.
  • 85% of the workforce there did not heed a call to return to work, in spite of an interdict by the Labour Court declaring their strike unprotected.
summons, request
5.1A vocation: feeling the call to ministry, I started looking for a Bible college
More example sentences
  • Peter, an idealistic young Yale graduate, worked as a journalist covering the war in Paris when he felt the call to serve.
  • His call to a culinary career began at a young age.
  • People say I could have gone professional because of my love for football but I believe that in life, each person has his call and vocation.
5.2A powerful force of attraction: walkers can’t resist the call of the Cairngorms
More example sentences
  • Samantha felt the call of the ocean from her earliest days.
  • Even in an age of mobility, families do their best to gather as extended clans, drawn by the call of Christmas.
  • She accepted, but it was not long before the call of the great outdoors became irresistible once more.
6(In sport) a decision or ruling made by an umpire or other official, traditionally conveyed by a shout, that the ball has gone out of play or that a rule has been breached: he was visibly irritated with the umpire’s calls
More example sentences
  • It's good for the game when bad calls can be corrected on the field.
  • In fact, according to coaches, officials are deciding games with reckless calls.
  • Some like to see the game played without many calls; some like to call the penalties.
6.1A decision, judgement, or prediction: personally, I’m all in favour, but it’s your call that entrepreneurial instinct may account for his ability to make tough calls when profits are at stake the two old foes are so evenly matched that it’s anyone’s call
More example sentences
  • The first elimination is always a very tough call.
  • Your and your spouse's plans for your estate can be identical or entirely dissimilar; it's your call.
  • Whether you sell early to cash in on the frenzy or sell later based on concrete information, it's your call, so don't give in to panic.
7 Computing A command to execute a subroutine: parameter values may be changed by calls to a special purpose input specification subroutine
More example sentences
  • As shown in the figure, there is a value pushed for each call to the routine.
  • A code element issues a call to the first routine.
  • One direct method to utilize the kernel is for a process to execute a system call.
8 Finance A demand for payment of lent or unpaid capital.
Example sentences
  • The bank could issue the contingent capital component of its planned £7.8 billion capital call as early as this summer, according to debt bankers.
  • With potential bank losses barely covered by the European Stability Mechanism's 60 billion euros of bank rescue funds, what might happen when banks admit this can't continue, and loan losses trigger new capital calls?
  • Conceptually, an overdraft is repayable at call or on demand, whereas a loan is granted for a fixed period of time.
8 Stock Exchange short for call option.
Example sentences
  • By tracking the daily and weekly volume of puts and calls in the U.S. stock market, we can gauge the feelings of traders.
  • Put options should increase in value and calls should drop as the stock price falls.
  • The rule for creating synthetics is that the strike price and expiration date of the calls and puts must be identical.
9 [as modifier] US (In a bar, club, etc.) denoting or made with relatively expensive brands of alcohol which customers request by name. Compare with well2 (sense 4 of the noun). try wines by the glass for $5, beer for $3, and call drinks for $8
More example sentences
  • These different vodka brands can be grouped by their price into three categories: well (the cheapest), call, and premium.
  • Call brand liquors include Absolut Vodka, Seagrams Gin, and Jim Beam.
  • The call liquors are the name brand booze that sit up on a shelf for everyone to see.


at call

another way of saying on call sense 2.

call attention to

Cause people to notice: he is seeking to call attention to himself by his crimes
More example sentences
  • Sleeveless, short or cap sleeves or tight sleeves call attention to, and display, the arms.
  • The way they sell new dictionaries is by calling attention to all the new words they've located.
  • I yelled out to call attention to what was going on (at the same time wondering how smart I was to get involved).

call someone's bluff

see bluff1.

call collect

North American Make a phone call reversing the charges.
Example sentences
  • You will also have your own phone from which long distance calls can be made by calling collect or using a charge card.
  • A prison social worker said that prisoners may call collect on pay telephones inside the prison.
  • They charge extra money to inmates who call collect to their families.

call something into (or in) question

Cast doubt on something: these findings call into question the legitimacy of the proceedings
More example sentences
  • Integrity is one of the cornerstones upon which reliable journalism is based, and, when it is called into question, we begin to doubt everything we read in newspapers and magazines and see on television.
  • It was the second time that her victory was called into question.
  • My honesty has been called into question and it has made me look like a criminal.
doubt, distrust, mistrust, suspect, lack confidence in, have doubts about, be suspicious of, have suspicions about, have misgivings about, feel uneasy about, feel apprehensive about, cast doubt on, query, question, challenge, dispute, have reservations about
archaic misdoubt

call it a day

see day.

call someone names

see name.

call of nature

see nature.

call the shots (or tune)

Take the initiative in deciding how something should be done: we believe in parents and teachers calling the shots
More example sentences
  • It's all about getting the initiative and being in a position to call the shots.
  • He quoted the proverb ‘He who pays the piper, calls the tune, ‘but noted, ‘I think we are very strong on the issue that they mustn't tell us what is good for us.
  • The taxpayer pays the piper, but the sponsor calls the tune.
be in charge, be in control, be in command, be the boss, be at the helm, be in the driving seat, be at the wheel, be in the saddle, pull the strings, hold the purse strings
British informal wear the trousers

call a spade a spade

see spade1.

call someone to account


call someone/thing to mind

Cause one to think of someone or something, especially through similarity: the still lifes call to mind certain of Cézanne’s works
More example sentences
  • At other points his guitar work briefly calls organs to mind.
  • It's not about these people, but there are things in it that call them to mind.
  • Her work conjures up such a non-factual set of moments that altered states, or dream states are called to mind.
evoke, put one in mind of, recall, bring to mind, call up, summon up, conjure up;
echo, allude to
[with negative]12.1 Remember someone or something: [with clause]: I cannot call to mind where I have seen you
More example sentences
  • Modest, common country garden perennial flowers, both of them, and I'm ashamed to say I simply cannot call their names to mind.
  • There's doubtless an equally irritating homily about spring-cleaning in the garden, too, but fortunately I can't call it to mind.
  • There's another old adage there, too, but I can't call it to mind just now.
Scottish mind
archaic bethink oneself of

call someone/thing to order

Ask those present at a meeting to be silent so that business may proceed: Randy McGill called the large gathering to order
More example sentences
  • He looked around the room to ensure all his key players were present, then called the meeting to order.
  • I remember nervously calling the meeting to order, wondering what our full day of dialogue would bring.
  • Imagine that the CEO of a major corporation has just called a meeting to order, and one of the board members makes a motion to discuss a proposed acquisition.

don't call us, we'll call you

informal Used as a dismissive way of saying that someone has not been successful in an audition or job application.
Example sentences
  • You can't walk five meters in a straight line… don't call us, we'll call you.
  • After the first audition there was a two-week period when it was a case of don't call us, we'll call you.
  • His e-mail read like a ‘thank you for your interest, but don't call us, we'll call you,’ form letter.

good call (or bad call)

informal Used to express approval (or criticism) of a person’s decision or suggestion: So you asked her to leave? Good call
[With reference to decisions made by referees or umpires]
More example sentences
  • The decision to keep interest rates unchanged looks like a good call.
  • He was very agitated and concerned, and on several occasions he said to me it was a very bad call and he obviously realised he had made a very significant error.
  • Medical staff deal with a constant flow of difficult decisions and, occasionally, they make what appears to be a bad call.

on call

1(Of a person) able to be contacted in order to provide a professional service if necessary, but not formally on duty: your local GP may be on call round the clock
More example sentences
  • There is an emergency ski patrol service on call 24 hours a day.
  • If a physical exam is to be done the physician on call will be contacted.
  • Top marks also to all who remained on duty, or on call, over the festive period.
on duty, on standby, standing by, ready, available
2(Of money lent) repayable on demand.
Example sentences
  • High cost options such as recalling the loan and converting a term loan to an on-call loan are less preferred choices.
  • Keep your loan on call and simply pay off the 3% minimum each month.

to call one's own

Used to describe something that one can genuinely feel belongs to one: I had not an item to call my own
More example sentences
  • The group desperately need premises to call their own, somewhere to store all their equipment, to have freedom of rehearsal times and a place to feel comfortable in.
  • On the most frigid day of this year, the restaurant overflows with penniless customers who make a cup of coffee last all day because they don't have a job to go to or a home to call their own.
  • The club is for the youth of the area and the youth group will endeavour to provide a safe environment for them, where they can have fun and a venue to call their own.

within call

Near enough to be summoned by calling: she moved into the guest room, within call of her father’s room
More example sentences
  • He had retired discreetly to the doorway, ready within call should Master need anything.
  • She might call for help if he attempted again as neighbors lived within call.
  • How many people may there be in London, who, if we had brought them deviously and blindfolded, to this street, fifty paces from the Station House, and within call of St. Giles's church, would know it for a not remote part of the city in which their lives are passed?

Phrasal verbs

call someone/thing down

1Cause or provoke someone or something to appear or occur: nothing called down the wrath of Nemesis quicker
More example sentences
  • It was a way of calling down the judgment of God if the words spoken were false.
  • The best architects have always understood that we can call down divine fire, focus community, make a place for home.
  • In some cases, you'll find yourself in the midst of a pitched battle from which you can call down any number of WMDs.
2 dated Reprimand someone: he called down Clarence Drum about being so high and mighty
More example sentences
  • When she got carried away and started to show genuine anger and aggression, the Captain called her down.
  • Who do these holier-than-thou types think they are, calling me down?
  • When Joyce gets paranoid about his talent as a writer, he takes it out on Nora, throwing her past in her face and calling her down for being married before.

call for

1Make necessary: desperate times call for desperate measures
More example sentences
  • I think a sense of proportion is called for here.
  • The production schedule would call for filming a total of 100 episodes in just two years.
  • FBI policy calls for an investigation whenever an agent fires a weapon.
require, need, necessitate, make necessary, demand;
be grounds for, justify, warrant, be a justification/reason for;
2Publicly ask for or demand: the report calls for an audit of endangered species
More example sentences
  • Senate Democrats also pointed out that they had been calling for a bipartisan conference for months, a request that had been brushed off by House Republicans.
  • The President called for $10 million to be spent on researching violent media as well as its correlation to gun violence.
  • The US way is to call for stricter laws, harsher conditions and longer sentences.
3chiefly British Stop to collect (someone) at the place where they are living or working: I’ll call for you around seven
More example sentences
  • A car would call for her at four o'clock on Friday.
  • I called for you so we could meet the man that Karl referred to as his friend.
  • A new house and a new friend: he called for me and said he would show me around.
pick up, collect, fetch, go/come to get, come for
4North American Predict or describe (the likely weather conditions) for a period of time in the future: the forecast is calling for more rain they’re calling for temperatures in the 80s for the rest of the week
More example sentences
  • Forecasters are calling for a storm surge of between 6 and 14 feet for Eleuthera and Grand Bahama Islands.
  • Although the weather forecast called for rain, the weather was great throughout the whole race.
  • The forecast called for more rain through the day Sunday, which could hamper rescuers trying to reach all of the far-flung areas that have been affected.

call something forth

Elicit a specified response: few things call forth more compassion
More example sentences
  • Her memory is astounding, calling forth an endless stream of anecdotes.
  • Today, many of the jokes are dated, but the raucous satirical tone still hits a nerve and calls forth countless contemporary associations.
  • The setting and circumstances on the island call forth the ideas of departure, regret, and the allure of the superficial.

call someone in

Enlist someone’s aid or services: you can either do the work yourself or call in a local builder to help you
More example sentences
  • She's called in the government to do more to stop unscrupulous companies selling prescription drugs on the Internet.
  • Lt. Murphy calls him in on cases that don't seem to make any sense.
  • When the government needs them at times like this, they pick up the phone and they call them in.

call something in

Require payment of a loan or promise of money: the bank would call in loans and foreign donations
More example sentences
  • The bank was on the brink of calling in the debt.
  • Others blame the owners of established resorts, who may have pressed banks to call in loans to their red-hot competitor.
  • His biggest lender had just called in its loan.

call someone/thing off

Order a person or dog to stop attacking someone: Gunda pleaded with him to call the dog off
More example sentences
  • The Italian attack was called off, and it was time to move against France, so I resumed control of my unit and ordered it to Burgundy.
  • The government called off helicopters sent to attack the rebel militia, averting a threatened rebel offensive.
  • The dogs wanted to follow, but Maria called them off.

call something off

Cancel an event or agreement: they held a ballot on whether to call off industrial action
More example sentences
  • The firm called off takeover talks last November because the price discussed was not satisfactory.
  • Within hours of calling off the deal, however, he was working to make the same idea happen, this time as a private company.
  • As the friends argue, other problems surface: Ian's doubts about his impending wedding, which his friends urge him to call off.
cancel, abandon, shelve, scrap, drop, mothball
informal axe, scrub, scratch, nix
North American informal redline

call on

1Pay a visit to (someone): he’s planning to call on Katherine today
More example sentences
  • He then calls on Eustacia, asking her to marry him.
  • The policewoman assigned to the case promised to call on them late Sunday afternoon.
  • He called on me during his last visit to Accra and we discussed varied issues relating to Africa.
visit, pay a visit to, pay a call on, go and see, look in on;
North American visit with, go see
informal look up, drop in on, pop in on
2 (also call upon) Have recourse to: we are able to call on academic staff with a wide variety of expertise
More example sentences
  • He'll be calling on those hard-earned inner resources often in this sport.
  • The largest part of the market remains untapped since most companies prefer to handle their own security issues, rather than calling on external forces.
  • Now her dad is calling on her musical talents to keep his customers in good spirits on December 11.
2.1 [with infinitive] Demand that (someone) do something: he called on the government to hold a vote
More example sentences
  • I call on you to stop any protest against progress in the peace process.
  • PC Hopson, who is spearheading the scheme to educate drinkers in the city, called on them to take sensible precautions.
  • Many of them had called on him to step down.

call someone out

1Summon someone to deal with an emergency or to do repairs: patients are to be told to stop calling doctors out unnecessarily at night
More example sentences
  • Last month we had to call the doctor out because the stress of all this had sent Hilary's muscles into spasm.
  • So, to beat the system, I've requested that we call the electrician out again.
  • I've had to call the police out a couple of times, and the problem has been and gone over the years, depending on her medication.
2Order or advise workers to strike.
Example sentences
  • Splinter groups of communists and Trotskyists fought for supremacy on the shop floor, calling workers out on strike and typifying the industrial travails of the time.
  • We urge the CWU not to call our people out on strike action, which can only hurt our customers.
  • The Fire Brigades Union called its 50,000 members out on strikes last November.
3 (also call someone out on something, call someone on something) North American Draw critical attention to someone’s unacceptable actions or behaviour: people were calling him out for his negative comments Dan had called her out on a couple of contradictions in her story she called him on his claim that the media were doing a bad job of covering the economy
More example sentences
  • She gets the whole house riled up, then walks away like nothing happened, and nobody calls her on it.
  • The pay's good, and hardly anyone will call you on your decisions when you're wrong.
  • Rip the cloak of secrecy off abuse and openly call out every abuser by name; perhaps some real change would begin.
4 archaic Challenge someone to a duel.
Example sentences
  • Steve told Clarence that I called him out, but that he wouldn't fight me.
  • I'll call him out and we'll settle this once and for all.
  • When he is called out to fight a duel, Boris cannot pull the trigger.

call something over

dated Read out a list of names to determine those present: a gentleman proceeded to call over the names of the jury
More example sentences
  • It has been the practice of the House of Commons, on occasions of sufficient importance, to order that the House be called over at a future day.
  • Under the new Act for regulating the trial of controverted elections, you will, in the discharge of your duty, call over the names in the alphabetical list of Members.
  • Charles Mansfield, our third lieutenant, came on deck, and called the list over.

call someone up

1 informal , chiefly North American Phone someone: I have a list of people to call up in the morning
More example sentences
  • He may have even called up Katy to help console him, but that doesn't mean they hooked up.
  • I called up Customer Care again and they promised me a free replacement by tomorrow evening.
  • Sensing the rarity of the animal, Meshram closed the door and immediately called up fire brigade personnel.
phone, telephone, get on the phone to, get someone on the phone, dial, make/place a call to, get, reach;
British informal give someone a bell, bell, give someone a tinkle, get on the blower to
North American informal get someone on the horn
phone, telephone, call, get on the phone to, get someone on the phone, dial, make/place a call to, get, reach;
British informal give someone a bell, bell, give someone a tinkle, get on the blower to
North American informal get someone on the horn
2Summon someone to serve in the army: they have called up more than 20,000 reservists
More example sentences
  • While fishing, Fred asks the bartender if he will go to war when they call up the old men.
  • She was a member of the Territorial Army when she was called up to serve in the last conflict.
  • He was called up for the Army in 1939 and served in France during the war, and later in the Middle East.
2.1Select someone to play in a team, especially at a higher level of competition: he was called up for the international against Turkey
More example sentences
  • My point is, the Rays aren't afraid to call up their young guys.
  • In all honesty I hope the FO doesn't call up Bryant or Baez next season.
  • The worst-case scenario with Crosby is that the organization calls him up anyway, and the Tigers lose lots of games.
select, pick, choose;
British cap

call something up

Summon for use something that is stored or kept available: icons which allow you to call up a graphic
More example sentences
  • Once the customer has made a decision, the salesman calls up a three-dimensional image on his computer screen.
  • To make matters worse, online links to sites offering more information simply called up error pages.
  • So I called up my credit file and went through all 40 pages of it.
12.1Evoke something: the imaginative intensity with which he called up the Devon landscape
More example sentences
  • The proposal is steeped in the language of agricultural protection, calling up images of an agriculture frozen in time.
  • The vegan diet usually calls up images of austerity and abstention.
  • The metaphor calls up a vision of the artist's studio as the site of learning and experimentation.


Late Old English ceallian, from Old Norse kalla 'summon loudly'.

  • Call appears in Late Old English from an Old Norse root, but recall ‘call back’ does not appear until the late 16th century. To call the shots or call the tune is to dictate how something should be done. Call the tune is a shortening of he who pays the piper calls the tune, only recorded from the late 19th century. Call the shots, not recorded before the 1920s, is from sports and games. In pool to call your shots is to say in advance which ball you intend to hit into which pocket. In target shooting it means to announce which part of the target you are going to hit; if someone else calls the shots you have to aim at the bit they choose.

Words that rhyme with call

all, appal (US appall), awl, Bacall, ball, bawl, befall, Bengal, brawl, caul, crawl, Donegal, drawl, drywall, enthral (US enthrall), fall, forestall, gall, Galle, Gaul, hall, haul, maul, miaul, miscall, Montreal, Naipaul, Nepal, orle, pall, Paul, pawl, Saul, schorl, scrawl, seawall, Senegal, shawl, small, sprawl, squall, stall, stonewall, tall, thrall, trawl, wall, waul, wherewithal, withal, yawl

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