Meaning of DIAL in English

I. ˈdī(ə)l noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English dyal, from Latin dies day + Middle English -al — more at deity

1. : the face of a sundial whether horizontal, vertical, or inclined


a. obsolete : any of various timepieces (as a clock or watch)

b. obsolete : a mariner's compass


a. : the graduated face of a timepiece on which the time in hours and minutes and sometimes seconds is shown usually by pointers or hands

b. slang Britain : the human face


a. : a face (as of a measuring instrument) upon which some measurement (as of force, pressure, speed) or other number is registered usually by means of graduations and a pointer

the hand of the dial points to 50 pounds pressure

b. : a disk usually with a knob or slot that may be turned to make electrical connections or to regulate the operation of a machine and typically with a series of markings around its border to serve as a guide for the operation

increase the volume by turning the left-hand dial

— see dial telephone

5. : a lapidary's instrument for cutting a range of facets on a gem having a rod which holds the gem and turns on a ball-and-socket joint and a graduated dial and index at the other end for gauging the inclination between facets

II. verb

( dialed or dialled ; dialed or dialled ; dialing or dialling ; dials )

transitive verb

1. : to measure with or as if with a dial ; specifically : to survey with a dial or circumferentor


a. : to manipulate a telephone dial so as to place a call to (a telephone number or subscriber)

for a weather forecast one may dial ST 1-0100

dial the newspaper office

b. : to manipulate a dial so as to operate, regulate, or select

dial a radio

dial your favorite program

intransitive verb


a. : to manipulate a dial (as of a telephone or a television set)

b. : to make a call on a dial telephone

2. : to tune, control, or regulate a radio or other apparatus by means of a dial

many a radio owner, having dialed into this discourse … dialed out again — Time

III. abbreviation

1. dialect; dialectal

2. dialectic; dialectical; dialectics

3. dialogue

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