- an apparatus, system, or process for transmission of sound or speech to a distant point, especially by an electric device.
verb (used with object), tel·e·phoned, tel·e·phon·ing.
- to speak to or summon (a person) by telephone.
- to send (a message) by telephone.
verb (used without object), tel·e·phoned, tel·e·phon·ing.
- to send a message by telephone.
- Also called: telephone setan electrical device for transmitting speech, consisting of a microphone and receiver mounted on a handset
- (as modifier)a telephone receiver
- a worldwide system of communications using telephones. The microphone in one telephone converts sound waves into electrical signals that are transmitted along a telephone wire or by radio to one or more distant sets, the receivers of which reconvert the incoming signal into the original sound
- (as modifier)a telephone exchange; a telephone call
- See telephone box
- to call or talk to (a person) by telephone
- to transmit (a recorded message, radio or television programme, or other information) by telephone, using special transmitting and receiving equipment
v.1878, from telephone (n.). Related: Telephoned; telephoning. n.1835, “apparatus for signaling by musical notes” (devised by Sudré in 1828), from French téléphone (c.1830), from télé- “far” (see tele-) + phone “sound” (see fame (n.)). Also used of other apparatus early 19c., including “instrument similar to a foghorn for signaling from ship to ship” (1844). The electrical communication tool was first described in modern form by P.Reis (1861); developed by Bell, and so called by him from 1876.