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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun telephone:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb telephone:


Telephone is sometimes a misspelling of telephoned.

The word telephone is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

Video footage: 1940s - Telephone switchboard operators in 1949.
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Definition of the noun telephone

What does telephone mean as a name of something?

Telephone is one of the top 1000 most common nouns in the English language.

noun - plural: telephones

  1. electronic equipment that converts sound into electrical signals that can be transmitted over distances and then converts received signals back into sounds
  2. transmitting speech at a distance

Alternative definition of the noun telephone


  1. An electronic device used for two-way talking with other people (often shortened to phone).

Definition of the verb telephone

What does telephone mean as a doing word?

Telephone is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.

verb - inflections: telephoned | telephoning | telephones

  1. get or try to get into communication (with someone) by telephone
    • examples: Sam cannot telephone Sue | They telephone
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient]Heather cabled Sara
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic]Ellen told Helen a story | Ellen told me, 'Leave the room.' | Heather cabled Sara the news
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic, arbitrary control with infinitive]Heather cabled Sara to come
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic, that-complement clause]Ellen warned Helen that the party would be tonight | Heather cabled Sara that the party would be tonight
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic, wh-infinitive clause]Heather cabled Sara when to send the package
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] about [Topic]Ellen told Helen about the situation | Heather cabled Sara about the situation
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic]Ellen told a story | Heather cabled the news | Heather cabled, 'Come immediately.' | Susan whispered the news/a few words
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic] to [Recipient]Ellen told a story to Helen | Heather cabled the news to Sara
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, arbitrary control with infinitive]Heather cabled to come | Heather cabled when to send the package | Susan whispered to come
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, that-complement clause]Ellen warned that the party would be tonight | Heather cabled that the party would be tonight | Heather cabled to come | Heather cabled when to send the package | Susan complained that the party would be tonight | Susan whispered that the party would be tonight
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, wh-infinitive clause]Heather cabled when to send the package
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] for [Recipient] [Topic, for-complement clause]Heather cabled for Sara to come
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] to [Recipient] [Topic]Heather cabled to Sara, 'Come immediately.'
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] to [Recipient] [Topic, arbitrary control with infinitive]Heather cabled to Sara to come
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] to [Recipient] [Topic, that-complement clause]Heather cabled to Sara that the party would be tonight | Susan complained to Rachel that the party would be tonight
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] to [Recipient] [Topic, wh-infinitive clause]Heather cabled to Sara when to send the package

      Verbs of Communication (with the same syntax): broadcast, cable, e-mail, fax, modem, netmail, phone, radio, relay, satellite, semaphore, sign, signal, telecast, telegraph, telex, wire, wireless.

    • domain: telephony
    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • synonyms of telephone: call / call up / phone / ring
    • more generic word: telecommunicate = communicate over long distances, as via the telephone or e-mail
    • more specific terms:
    • entailment: dial = operate a dial to select a telephone number

Alternative definition of the verb telephone


  1. To contact someone by dialing his or her telephone number; to make someone's telephone ring using one's own telephone.


Telephone a.k.a. Téléphone was a French rock band formed in 1976 by Jean-Louis Aubert, Louis Bertignac, Corine Marienneau and Richard Kolinka.


  1. "Telephone" is a song recorded by Lady Gaga which features American R&B singer Beyoncé for Gaga's third EP, The Fame Monster. The song was written by Gaga, Rodney Jerkins, LaShawn Daniels, Lazonate Franklin and Beyoncé. Inspired by her fear of suffocation, Gaga explained that the lyrics portray herself preferring the dance floor instead of answering her lover's phone call and noted that the telephone addressed in the lyrics of the song is, in reality, a person telling her to continue working harder. Originally, Gaga wrote the song for Britney Spears, who recorded a demo of "Telephone". After Spears rejected the track, it leaked onto the web in May 2010. Musically, "Telephone" consists of an expanded bridge, verse-rap and an epilogue where the voice of an operator announces that the phone line is unreachable. Beyoncé appears in the middle of the song, singing the verses in a rapid-fire way, accompanied by double beats.
  2. "Telephone" a.k.a. "Anna": Téléphone est le premier album du groupe Téléphone, sorti en 1977. Il est parfois appelé Anna, du nom de la première chanson de l'album.
    • also known as Téléphone
    • released in (38 years ago)
  3. "Telephone" is a 2010 single released by Lady Gaga.
    • also known as Telephone: The DJ Remixes, Telephone: The Remixes
    • released on (4 years ago)
  4. Telephone is the 2010 music video of the song 'Telephone' directed by Jonas Åkerlund, featuring Lady Gaga and Beyoncé.
  5. "Telephone" is a cataloged instance, composition.
  6. "Telephone" is a composition.
  7. "Telephone" is a musical single of Mr.Kitty & Allison Woodard.
    • released on (4 years ago)
  8. "Telephone" is a musical single of Megan Redmond.
    • released on
  9. "Telephone" is a musical single of Subrockers.
    • released in
  10. "Telephone" is a musical album of The Districts.
    • released on
  11. "Telephone" is a musical single of The X Factor Finalists 2010.
    • released on (4 years ago)


"Telephone" is a play by Ariana Reines.


  1. "Telephone" is a 1999 film written by J. Hosni and directed by Shafi Aghamohammadian.
  2. "Telephone" a.k.a. "The Telephone Always Rings Twice": Le téléphone sonne toujours deux fois !! is a French comedy by Jean-Pierre Vergne released in 1985.


Telephone is an unincorporated community in Fannin County, Texas, United States. According to the Handbook of Texas, the community had an estimated population of 210 in 2000.


  1. Telephone: A telephone, or phone, is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are not in the same vicinity of each other to be heard directly. A telephone converts sound, typically and most efficiently the human voice, into electronic signals suitable for transmission via cables or other transmission media over long distances, and replays such signals simultaneously in audible form to its user. The word telephone has been adapted into the vocabulary of many languages. It is derived from the Greek: τῆλε, tēle, "far" and φωνή, phōnē, "voice", together meaning "distant voice".
  2. Telephone is a softphone for Mac OS X. It uses Session Initiation Protocol for communication. Telephone is distributed as free software under a variety of licenses.
  3. Telephone is a 2009 theater production of the play by Ariana Reines.
    • award:

Phrases with Telephone

Phrases starting with the word Telephone:

  1. telephone box
  2. telephone set
  3. telephone bell
  4. telephone bill
  5. telephone book
  6. telephone call
  7. Telephone card
  8. telephone cord
  9. telephone dial
  10. telephone jack
  11. telephone line
  12. telephone plug
  13. telephone pole
  14. telephone unit
  15. telephone wire
  16. telephone booth
  17. telephone kiosk
  18. telephone order

Phrases ending with the word Telephone:

  1. to telephone
  2. dial telephone

View more phrases with the word Telephone in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Telephone

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewTelephone Skills Pocketbook (2007)

by Mary Richards

A BUSINESS ASSET The telephone is a real asset when: Taking orders from customers Improving customer service Providing a help line Communicating with colleagues Working remotely Making life easier Saving time ...

Google previewBeautiful Circuits (2010)

Modernism and the Mediated Life by Mark Goble

Thus the telephone is a symbolic technology in several senses of the word, for it is not only a means of communication but also a metonymic figure for deeper historical and economic transformations. And though Stein appears to define with ...

Google previewThe White Eyelash (2003)

by Susan Kinsolving

The telephone is a hammer. Bowels move beyond any propriety. Towels are waved as signal flags, furiously not soliciting any right response. Clean clothes are such a source of frustration that a single sleeve can open into tears. Zippers are a ...

Google previewWinning Ways

by Joginder Singh

Telephone is an inescapable part of life. Telemarketing can be a nuisance at time when calls are made. It is not necessary to answer the phone every time it rings. If you do, you shall find yourself talking to telemarketers or people you would ...

Google previewDesign and Launch an Online Web Design Business in a Week (2009)

by Jason R. Rich

A cellular telephone is a must, enabling you to keep in constant contact with customers, clients, and prospects, no matter where you are. Consider purchasing a Smartphone or Wireless PDA such as an Apple iPhone, BlackBerry, or Palm Treo ...

Google previewManners on the Telephone (2006)

by Carrie Finn, Chris Lensch

The telephone is an 12 1.

Google previewResearch and Practical Issues of Enterprise Information Systems II Volume 2 (2007)

IFIP TC 8 WG 8.9 International Conference on Research and Practical Issues of Enterprise Information Systems (CONFENIS 2007), October 14-16, 2007, Beijing, China by Li Xu, A. Min Tjoa, Sohail S. Chaudhry

eIRS whose single terminal entity looks like a telephone is an e- commerce platform linking product producers and retailers. It can reduce the redundant courses between product producers and retailers and also can act as an efficient ...

Google previewCaring for the Customer (2007)

by Institute of Leadership & Management,

Although the telephone is a very important medium of communication, the problem with it is that less communication takes place than when you are talking face-to-face. You can't see what the people you are talking to look like. You can't see ...

Google previewOrganizing For Dummies (2011)

by Eileen Roth, Elizabeth Miles

The telephone is the big ...

Google previewPerceptual Knowledge (2012)

An Analytical and Historical Study by Georges Dicker

a ringing telephone is a part-cause of one's auditory experience when one is a ...

Google previewThe Mind-Body Diabetes Revolution (2013)

A Proven New Program for Better Blood Sugar Control by Richard S. Surwit

The telephone is a good place to put one, but use it to remind yourself to relax before you make a call, not while you try to answer a ringing phone! Each time you find yourself becoming tense, pay attention to where these feelings of stress or ...

Google previewSecrets of Successful Telephone Selling (1997)

How to Generate More Leads, Sales, Repeat Business, and Referrals by Phone by Robert W. Bly

The Telephone Is an Interactive, Two-way Marketing Tool. Aside from the Internet , the telephone is one of the few marketing vehicles that is interactive and allows instantaneous twoway communication between the seller and the prospect.

Google previewEncyclopedia of Urban Legends (2002)

by Jan Harold Brunvand

Telephone. Number". 67. freeway. The helper changes a tire, provides a tow, transports the other driver to a service station and back, and so on. Although the stranded motorist does not identify himself or herself at the time, later the Good ...

Google previewThe 100 Most Significant Events in American Business: An Encyclopedia (2012)

An Encyclopedia by Quentin R. Skrabec Jr.

major inventions, the telephone was the confluence of many streams of technological developments. The telegraph had a host of potential inventors working on improvements including Thomas Edison. Much effort was being put into the ...

Google previewWebster's New World Telecom Dictionary (2008)

by Ray Horak

classification C General telecommunication statistics D General tariff principles E Overall network operation, telephone service, service operation and human factors F Non-telephone telecommunication services G Transmission systems and ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of World Poetry (2015)

by R. Victoria Arana

"Telephone. Conversation". 1960 Work Author:Wole Soyinka Paradoxically apologetic and bitingly sarcastic, Soyinka's "Telephone Conversation" is a 35line poem dealing with bigotry and the absurdity of racist hierarchies. Written in free verse ...

Google previewDictionary of Business (1998)

by Peter Hodgson Collin

noun discussion between several people in different places, using the telephone, microphones and loudspeakers telegram [' teligrem] noun message sent to another country by telegraph; to send an international ...

Google previewOhio Historic Places Dictionary (2008)

by Editorial Staff, State History Publications, LLC

Moderne features include piers with stepped tops, floral design ornamentation, and the Bell Telephone corporate symbol. The building was designed by the firm of ...

Google previewDictionary of Health Information Technology and Security (2007)

AUTO DIAL: Automatic dialing of stored telephone numbers, ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Telephone

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Photos about Telephone

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View more pictures about Red Telephone, telephone box, telephone pole, Tiny Telephone, and Telephone exchange.

If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Vintage green telephone with rotary dial isolated on white backgroundSmall photo of Woman's hand holding a pastel telephone on a blue background. Telecommunication.Small photo of Telephone.Small photo of Retro orange telephone tube on blue background - Flat laySmall photo of Telephone vintageSmall photo of Vintage telephone retro telephoneSmall photo of vintage telephone isolated on white More...

Videos about Telephone

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View more videos about The Telephone, Telephone call, Telephone card, Telephone Jack, Telephone line, telephone pole, Telephone booth, Telephone Kiosk, Mobile Telephone, Public Telephone, Telephone Number, Cordless telephone, Telephone operator, Telephone directory, and Telephone Conversation.

Sign language

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Quotes about Telephone

The telephone is a good way to talk to people without having to offer them a drink. (Fran Lebowitz)
more quotes about telephone...

Scrabble value of T1E1L1E1P3H4O1N1E1

The value of this 9-letter word is 14 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of TELEPHONE

What do you get if you rearrange the letters?

See also the blanagrams of Telephone!

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