Meaning of CALL in English

I. ˈkȯl verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English callen, probably from Old Norse kalla; akin to Old English hilde calla battle herald, Old High German kallōn to talk loudly, Middle Irish gall swan, Old Slavic glasŭ voice

intransitive verb


a. : to speak in a loud distinct voice so as to be heard at a distance especially in order to attract the attention of, summon, or make a request of another : cry , shout

call for help

b. : to make a request, appeal, or demand

call upon all nations to keep the peace

he called for an investigation of the facts

c. of an animal : to utter a characteristic note or cry

the thrush calls

d. : to communicate with or try to get into communication with a person by telephone — often used with up

e. card games

(1) : to make a demand (as by requesting or signaling for a particular card or suit to be played)

(2) bridge : to make a declaration (sense 4)

(3) poker : to make one's total bet equal to that of the last preceding bettor

f. : to give the calls for a square dance — often used with off

2. Scotland : to become driven : drive — usually used in the form ca' ; compare ca' canny

3. : to make a brief stop or visit at a place

call to pay your respects

only one ship a year calls at the island

— often used with on

a salesman calling on his customers

transitive verb



(1) : to utter in a loud distinct voice : shout , cry — often used with out

call out a number

(2) : to announce or read out loudly or authoritatively

call the roll

call a halt

— often used with off

call off a row of figures


(1) : to command or request (as by an utterance) to come or be present

I can call spirits from the vasty deep — Shakespeare

: summon

called to testify in court

call off the dogs

(2) : to cause to come : bring

call a new principle into operation

call to mind the words of his brother


(1) : to summon to a particular activity, employment, or office

called to the presidency of the university

called to active duty in the army

(2) : to move or impel (as by divine influence) to a particular condition or activity

America is called to greatness — A.E.Stevenson b.1900

(3) : to summon (a Jewish male) to read a benediction or a set portion of the Torah before the congregation at public worship in the synagogue

d. : to invite or command (a group) to meet : convoke

call a meeting

e. : to rouse from sleep or summon to get up by a call

f. : to give the order for : bring into action

call a case in court

call a strike


(1) bridge : to make a demand for (a particular card or suit to be played)

(2) poker : to make one's total bet equal to (the preceding bet) or equal to the bet of (the preceding bettor)

(3) : to challenge (a person) to make good on a statement

if he is not telling the truth someone should call him

(4) : to charge with or censure for an offense — often used with on

they called him on his sloppy dress

h. : to decoy (game) by imitating the characteristic cry

i. : to halt (a baseball game or other public event) because of unsuitable conditions (as rain or darkness)

j. : to rule on the status of (as a played ball or a player's action)

call a tennis serve out

call a base runner safe

k. : to give the calls for (a square dance or a square-dance figure) — often used with off


(1) : to communicate with or try to get in communication with (a person) by telephone — sometimes used with up

call me up tomorrow

(2) : to deliver (a message) by telephone

(3) : to make a signal to (an addressee as by transmitting his call sign) to indicate the desire to transmit a message — often used with up

call up the flagship

— compare CQ

m. : to suspend (playing time)

time was called while the field was cleared

n. cricket

(1) : to inform (one's fellow batsman) that it is safe to run

(2) : to inform (a bowler) that a delivery is unfair — used of an umpire


(1) : to demand payment of especially by formal notice

directors called an assessment of 10 percent

(2) : to demand presentation of (an issue of bonds) for redemption and payment

the bonds could be called 10 years after issue


a. : to speak of or address by a specified name

they call her Kitty

: give a name to : name

forces … which Empedocles calls love and hate — Arnold Toynbee


(1) : to give a descriptive name to

the actual price at which any commodity is commonly sold is called its market price — Adam Smith

: regard as or characterize as of a certain kind : describe as : consider

you don't call this keeping what belongs to you — Lillian Hellman

a world where nothing can be called unknowable — W.R.Inge

(2) : estimate : reckon to be

how far would you call it to town

: consider for purposes of an estimate or for convenience

99 cents, call it an even dollar

c. dialect England : scold , revile

d. dialect : to announce or publish as an official notice of intention

when our names have been called in church we can be married

e. South & Midland : mention , speak

called the loved name

carefully refrained from calling his name — Ellen Glasgow

f. : to describe correctly in advance of or without knowledge of the event

he called the upward trend of the market in February

: name or describe in advance : predict , guess

call the toss of a coin wrongly

3. usually ca' ˈkȯ chiefly Scotland

a. : drive

call an animal to market

b. : to drive into place : knock , hammer

c. : propel , run

call some machinery

: use

call an instrument

4. : to pay a brief visit to

I'll call you at your house — Shakespeare

- call a spade a spade

- call cousin

- call for

- call in question

- call it a day

- call it quits

- call names

- call on

- call one's bluff

- call one's shot

- call the shots

- call the tune

- call the turn

- call to account

- call to order

- call to the bar

- call to the colors

- call upon

- call within the bar

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from callen, v.


a. : a loud vocal utterance (as in addressing or summoning) : shout , cry

a call for help

b. : an imitation of the cry of a bird or other animal made to decoy it

c. obsolete : a decoy bird

d. : an instrument (as a whistle or pipe) used for calling

a boatswain's call

a duck call

e. : the cry of a bird or other animal


a. : a request or command to come or to assemble : summons , invitation

the council met at the call of the president

b. : a summons or signal especially on a drum, bugle, or pipe

bugle calls were heard in the distance

— compare hunt's-up , reveille

c. : admission to the bar as a barrister


(1) : an invitation to become the minister of a church ; also : the official written form of such an invitation usually signed by members of the congregation

(2) : an invitation to accept a professional appointment

he accepted a call to the state university


(1) : a divine vocation or prompting to a special service or duty

(2) : a strong inner prompting to undertake a particular course of action or to enter a particular type of vocation

f. : a summons, invitation, or appeal to undertake a particular course of action

a call for the restoration of spiritual values

g. : a summoning (as by a posted notice) of actors to rehearsal or members of a film unit to a rehearsal or a take

the call is for 11 o'clock

also : rehearsal

h. : a signal summoning firemen and apparatus into action

a fire call

a drill call

also : the response of men and equipment to such a call

i. : the attraction or appeal of a particular activity, condition, or place

islanders feel strongly the call of the sea

j. : an announcement issued by the national committee of a political party concerning a nominating convention to be held, its date and place, and the rules governing the choosing and apportionment of delegates to it

k. : call of nature

l. : an order specifying the number of men to be inducted into the armed services during a specified period

the November call is for 10,000 men

m. : an order left at a hotel desk setting a specified hour for being wakened

leave a call for 7:30


a. : demand , requirement

maintaining order makes the greatest call on his energies

: claim

the aircraft industry continues to have first call on aluminum production — Americana Annual

b. : necessity , obligation , occasion , justification

there is no call for the federal government to apologize for the views of a private citizen — J.L.Teller

c. : a demand for payment of money: as

(1) : a notice by the United States Treasury to depository banks to transfer a part of its deposit balance to the Federal Reserve bank

(2) : a notice to a stockholder or subscriber to pay an assessment or an installment of subscription to capital

d. : an option to buy a certain amount of stock, grain, or other commodity at a fixed price at or within a certain time — compare put II 3

e. : an instance of asking for something : request

the library has many calls for Christmas stories

4. obsolete : calling 4

5. : a roll call (as to discover absentees or to take the ayes and noes)

the speaker ordered a call of the house

6. : a short usually formal visit

pay a call on a neighbor

: a brief stop in passing (as to conduct business or make a delivery)

a salesman making his calls

7. : the name or thing called or indicated by calling

his call was heads; mine was tails

8. : the act or an instance of calling in a card game

9. : a reference in a land survey or grant to an object, a measurement, or other descriptive detail requiring a corresponding physical detail on the land

10. : the act or an instance of calling on the telephone


a. : call sign

b. : a signal (as a letter or combination of letters) sent by a caller to inform an addressee that the caller has a message to transmit to him — compare CQ

12. : the solo or recitative part of a folk song or rhyme ; especially : the stanza answered by the refrain

the standard West African song pattern of call and response, by a leader and chorus — Roger Angell

13. : the score at any given time while a tennis game is in progress

what's the call , please

14. : a direction or a succession of directions for the next movement or figure of a square dance chanted or rhythmically called to the dancers by a caller

15. : a decision or ruling made by an official of a sports contest

- at call

- have the call

- within call

III. transitive verb

1. : to indicate and keep track of balls and strikes in (a baseball game)

2. : to manage (as a team's strategy during a game) by giving the signals or orders

the coach calls every play from the sidelines

3. : to temporarily transfer control of computer processing to (as a subroutine or procedure)

- call on

IV. noun

1. : a temporary transfer of control of computer processing to a particular set of instructions (as a subroutine or procedure)

2. : decision

not an easy call for parents to make

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.