v. & n.
v. 1 intr. a (often foll. by out) cry, shout; speak loudly. b (of a bird or animal) emit its characteristic note or cry. 2 tr. communicate or converse with by telephone or radio. 3 tr. a bring to one's presence by calling; summon (will you call the children?). b arrange for (a person or thing) to come or be present (called a taxi). 4 intr. (often foll. by at, in, on) pay a brief visit (called at the house; called in to see you; come and call on me). 5 tr. a order to take place; fix a time for (called a meeting). b direct to happen; announce (call a halt). 6 a intr. require one's attention or consideration (duty calls). b tr. urge, invite, nominate (call to the bar). 7 tr. name; describe as (call her Della). 8 tr. consider; regard or estimate as (I call that silly). 9 tr. rouse from sleep (call me at 8). 10 intr. guess the outcome of tossing a coin etc. 11 intr. (foll. by for) order, require, demand (called for silence). 12 tr. (foll. by over) read out (a list of names to determine those present). 13 intr. (foll. by on, upon) invoke; appeal to; request or require (called on us to be quiet). 14 tr. Cricket (of an umpire) disallow a ball from (a bowler). 15 tr. Cards specify (a suit or contract) in bidding. 16 tr. Sc. drive (an animal, vehicle, etc.).
n. 1 a shout or cry; an act of calling. 2 a the characteristic cry of a bird or animal. b an imitation of this. c an instrument for imitating it. 3 a brief visit (paid them a call). 4 a an act of telephoning. b a telephone conversation. 5 a an invitation or summons to appear or be present. b an appeal or invitation (from a specific source or discerned by a person's conscience etc.) to follow a certain profession, set of principles, etc. 6 (foll. by for, or to + infin.) a duty, need, or occasion (no call to be rude; no call for violence). 7 (foll. by for, on) a demand (not much call for it these days; a call on one's time). 8 a signal on a bugle etc.; a signalling-whistle. 9 Stock Exch. an option of buying stock at a fixed price at a given date. 10 Cards a a player's right or turn to make a bid. b a bid made. at call = on call. call away divert, distract. call-box a public telephone box or kiosk. call-boy a theatre attendant who summons actors when needed on stage. call down 1 invoke. 2 reprimand. call forth elicit. call-girl a prostitute who accepts appointments by telephone. call in tr. 1 withdraw from circulation. 2 seek the advice or services of. calling-card US = visiting-card. call in (or into) question dispute; doubt the validity of. call into play give scope for; make use of. call a person names abuse a person verbally. call off 1 cancel (an arrangement etc.). 2 order (an attacker or pursuer) to desist. call of nature a need to urinate or defecate. call out 1 summon (troops etc.) to action. 2 order (workers) to strike. call-over 1 a roll-call. 2 reading aloud of a list of betting prices. call the shots (or tune) be in control; take the initiative. call-sign (or -signal) a broadcast signal identifying the radio transmitter used. call to account see ACCOUNT. call to mind recollect; cause one to remember. call to order 1 request to be orderly. 2 declare (a meeting) open. call up 1 reach by telephone. 2 imagine, recollect. 3 summon, esp. to serve in the army. call-up n. the act or process of calling up (sense 3). on call 1 (of a doctor etc.) available if required but not formally on duty. 2 (of money lent) repayable on demand. within call near enough to be summoned by calling.
[ OE ceallian f. ON kalla ]