Entry from US English dictionary
Definition of phone tree in English:
1A menu-driven system that routes callers to recordings, more menus, or a person, depending on their responses: users had to navigate an elaborate phone tree before reaching a counselor
More example sentences
- I was on the Prince sponsorship package, which meant that I could call their headquarters in New Jersey, fight my way through a tangled phone tree and demand to speak to someone in the "Elite Athlete" division.
- More often, I got to the end of a long phone tree and an hour of hold music only to be told to take it up with the government.
- Technology has given us all those great voicemail phone trees that more often prevent us from resolving problems that would take only a couple of minutes if we could actually speak with a person in charge directly.
2A system for contacting a large number of people quickly in which each person called then telephones a number of other designated people.
- City officials have established a flood warning website and "phone trees" to get word out of any coming disaster.
- Local officials and loyal customers formed a phone tree to get in touch with employees and season-ticket holders, and then many of them decided to fill in as workers for no pay.
- The bureau has put together phone trees for contacting staff if the office is inaccessible.
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