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call Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a telephone connection
    telephone call; phone call.
    • she reported several anonymous calls
    • he placed a phone call to London
    • he heard the phone ringing but didn't want to take the call
  2. noun a special disposition (as if from a divine source) to pursue a particular course
    • he was disappointed that he had not heard the Call
  3. noun a loud utterance; often in protest or opposition
    cry; shout; outcry; vociferation; yell.
    • the speaker was interrupted by loud cries from the rear of the audience
  4. noun a demand especially in the phrase "the call of duty"
  5. noun the characteristic sound produced by a bird
    birdcall; birdsong; song.
    • a bird will not learn its song unless it hears it at an early age
  6. noun a brief social visit
    • senior professors' wives no longer make afternoon calls on newcomers
    • the characters in Henry James' novels are forever paying calls on each other, usually in the parlor of some residence
  7. noun a demand by a broker that a customer deposit enough to bring his margin up to the minimum requirement
    margin call.
  8. noun a demand for a show of hands in a card game
    • after two raises there was a call
  9. noun a request
    • many calls for Christmas stories
    • not many calls for buggywhips
  10. noun an instruction that interrupts the program being executed
    • Pascal performs calls by simply giving the name of the routine to be executed
  11. noun a visit in an official or professional capacity
    • the pastor's calls on his parishioners
    • the salesman's call on a customer
  12. noun (sports) the decision made by an umpire or referee
    • he was ejected for protesting the call
  13. noun the option to buy a given stock (or stock index or commodity future) at a given price before a given date
    call option.
  14. verb assign a specified (usually proper) proper name to
    • They named their son David
    • The new school was named after the famous Civil Rights leader
  15. verb ascribe a quality to or give a name of a common noun that reflects a quality
    • He called me a bastard
    • She called her children lazy and ungrateful
  16. verb get or try to get into communication (with someone) by telephone
    phone; ring; telephone; call up.
    • I tried to call you all night
    • Take two aspirin and call me in the morning
  17. verb utter a sudden loud cry
    cry; hollo; squall; shout; holler; yell; scream; shout out.
    • she cried with pain when the doctor inserted the needle
    • I yelled to her from the window but she couldn't hear me
  18. verb order, request, or command to come
    send for.
    • She was called into the director's office
    • Call the police!
  19. verb pay a brief visit
    visit; call in.
    • The mayor likes to call on some of the prominent citizens
  20. verb call a meeting; invite or command to meet
    • The Wannsee Conference was called to discuss the `Final Solution'
    • The new dean calls meetings every week
  21. verb read aloud to check for omissions or absentees
    • Call roll
  22. verb send a message or attempt to reach someone by radio, phone, etc.; make a signal to in order to transmit a message
    • Hawaii is calling!
    • A transmitter in Samoa was heard calling
  23. verb utter a characteristic note or cry
    • bluejays called to one another
  24. verb stop or postpone because of adverse conditions, such as bad weather
    • call a football game
  25. verb greet, as with a prescribed form, title, or name
    • He always addresses me with `Sir'
    • Call me Mister
    • She calls him by first name
  26. verb make a stop in a harbour
    • The ship will call in Honolulu tomorrow
  27. verb demand payment of (a loan)
    call in.
    • Call a loan
  28. verb make a demand, as for a card or a suit or a show of hands
    • He called his trump
  29. verb give the calls (to the dancers) for a square dance
    call off.
  30. verb indicate a decision in regard to
    • call balls and strikes behind the plate
  31. verb make a prediction about; tell in advance
    predict; anticipate; forebode; foretell; promise; prognosticate.
    • Call the outcome of an election
  32. verb require the presentation of for redemption before maturation
    • Call a bond
  33. verb challenge (somebody) to make good on a statement; charge with or censure for an offense
    • He deserves to be called on that
  34. verb declare in the capacity of an umpire or referee
    • call a runner out
  35. verb lure by imitating the characteristic call of an animal
    • Call ducks
  36. verb order or request or give a command for
    • The unions called a general strike for Sunday
  37. verb order, summon, or request for a specific duty or activity, work, role
    • He was already called 4 times for jury duty
    • They called him to active military duty
  38. verb utter in a loud voice or announce
    • He called my name
    • The auctioneer called the bids
  39. verb challenge the sincerity or truthfulness of
    • call the speaker on a question of fact
  40. verb consider or regard as being
    • I would not call her beautiful
  41. verb rouse somebody from sleep with a call
    • I was called at 5 A.M. this morning

Call intransitive verb
OE. callen, AS. ceallin; akin to Icel & Sw. kalla, Dan. kalde, D. kallen to talk, prate, Gr. to speak, sing, Skr. gar to praise. Cf. Garrulous.
imperfect & past participle Called ; past participle & verbal noun Calling
  1. To command or request to come or be present; to summon; as, to call a servant.
    Call hither Clifford; bid him come amain Shak.
  2. To summon to the discharge of a particular duty; to designate for an office, or employment, especially of a religious character; -- often used of a divine summons; as, to be called to the ministry; sometimes, to invite; as, to call a minister to be the pastor of a church.
    Paul . . . called to be an apostle Rom. i. 1.
    The Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. Acts xiii. 2.
  3. To invite or command to meet; to convoke; -- often with together; as, the President called Congress together; to appoint and summon; as, to call a meeting of the Board of Aldermen.
    Now call we our high court of Parliament. Shak.
  4. To give name to; to name; to address, or speak of, by a specifed name.
    If you would but call me Rosalind. Shak.
    And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. Gen. i. 5.
  5. To regard or characterize as of a certain kind; to denominate; to designate.
    What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. Acts x. 15.
  6. To state, or estimate, approximately or loosely; to characterize without strict regard to fact; as, they call the distance ten miles; he called it a full day's work.
    [The] army is called seven hundred thousand men. Brougham.
  7. To show or disclose the class, character, or nationality of. Obs.
    This speech calls him Spaniard. Beau. & Fl.
  8. To utter in a loud or distinct voice; -- often with off; as, to call, or call off, the items of an account; to call the roll of a military company.
    No parish clerk who calls the psalm so clear. Gay.
  9. To invoke; to appeal to.
    I call God for a witness. 2 Cor. i. 23 [Rev. Ver. ]
  10. To rouse from sleep; to awaken.
    If thou canst awake by four o' the clock. I prithee call me. Sleep hath seized me wholly. Shak.
    Syn. -- To name; denominate; invite; bid; summon; convoke; assemble; collect; exhort; warn; proclaim; invoke; appeal to; designate. To Call, Convoke, Summon. Call is the generic term; as, to call a public meeting. To convoke is to require the assembling of some organized body of men by an act of authority; as, the king convoked Parliament. To summon is to require attendance by an act more or less stringent anthority; as, to summon a witness.
Call intransitive verb
  1. To speak in loud voice; to cry out; to address by name; -- sometimes with to.
    You must call to the nurse. Shak.
    The angel of God called to Hagar. Gen. xxi. 17.
  2. To make a demand, requirement, or request.
    They called for rooms, and he showed them one. Bunyan.
  3. To make a brief visit; also, to stop at some place designated, as for orders.
    He ordered her to call at the house once a week. Temple.
Call noun
  1. The act of calling; -- usually with the voice, but often otherwise, as by signs, the sound of some instrument, or by writing; a summons; an entreaty; an invitation; as, a call for help; the bugle's call. "Call of the trumpet." Shak.
    I rose as at thy call, but found thee not. Milton.
  2. A signal, as on a drum, bugle, trumpet, or pipe, to summon soldiers or sailors to duty.
  3. (Eccl.) An invitation to take charge of or serve a church as its pastor.
  4. A requirement or appeal arising from the circumstances of the case; a moral requirement or appeal.
    Dependence is a perpetual call upon hummanity. Addison.
    Running into danger without any call of duty. Macaulay.
  5. A divine vocation or summons.
    St. Paul himself believed he did well, and that he had a call to it, when he persecuted the Christians. Locke.
  6. Vocation; employment. In this sense, calling is generally used.
  7. A short visit; as, to make a call on a neighbor; also, the daily coming of a tradesman to solicit orders.
    The baker's punctual call. Cowper.
  8. (Hunting) A note blown on the horn to encourage the hounds.
  9. (Naut.) A whistle or pipe, used by the boatswain and his mate, to summon the sailors to duty.
  10. (Fowling) The cry of a bird; also a noise or cry in imitation of a bird; or a pipe to call birds by imitating their note or cry.
  11. (Amer. Land Law) A reference to, or statement of, an object, course, distance, or other matter of description in a survey or grant reguiring or calling for a carresponding object, etc., on the land.
  12. The privilege to demand the delivery of stock, grain, or any commodity, at a fixed, price, at or within a certain time agreed on. Brokers' Cant
  13. See Assessment, 4.

Webster 1913