What does telephone mean?

Definitions for telephone
ˈtɛl əˌfoʊntele·phone

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word telephone.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. telephone, phone, telephone setnoun

    electronic equipment that converts sound into electrical signals that can be transmitted over distances and then converts received signals back into sounds

    "I talked to him on the telephone"

  2. telephone, telephonyverb

    transmitting speech at a distance

  3. call, telephone, call up, phone, ringverb

    get or try to get into communication (with someone) by telephone

    "I tried to call you all night"; "Take two aspirin and call me in the morning"

Wiktionary

  1. telephonenoun

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

  2. telephoneverb

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

Webster Dictionary

  1. Telephonenoun

    an instrument for reproducing sounds, especially articulate speech, at a distance

  2. Telephoneverb

    to convey or announce by telephone

Freebase

  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. First patented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell and further developed by many others, the telephone was the first device in history that enabled people to talk directly with each other across large distances. Telephones became rapidly indispensable to businesses, government, and households, and are today some of the most widely used small appliances. The essential elements of a telephone are a microphone to speak into and an earphone which reproduces the voice of the distant person. In addition, most telephones contain a ringer which produces a sound to announce an incoming telephone call, and a dial used to enter a telephone number when initiating a call to another telephone. Until approximately the 1970s most telephones used a rotary dial, which was superseded by the modern Touch-Tone push-button dial, first introduced by AT&T in 1963. The receiver and transmitter are usually built into a handset which is held up to the ear and mouth during conversation. The dial may be located either on the handset, or on a base unit to which the handset is connected by a cord containing wires.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Telephone

    tel′e-fōn, n. an instrument for reproducing sound at a distance over a conducting wire or cord, esp. by means of electricity.—v.t. and v.i. to communicate by telephone.—n. Tel′ephōner, one who uses a telephone.—adj. Telephon′ic.—adv. Telephon′ically.—ns. Tel′ephōnist, one who uses the telephone, one skilled in its use; Telephō′nograph, an apparatus for recording a telephone message.—adj. Telephonograph′ic.—n. Tel′ephony, the art of telephoning. [Gr. tēle, far, phōnē, a sound.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Telephone

    An instrument for reproducing sounds especially articulate speech at a distance. (Webster, 3rd ed)

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Telephone

    An instrument for the transmission of articulate speech by the electric current. The current is defined as of the undulatory type. (See Current, Undulatory.) The cut shows what may be termed the fundamental telephone circuit. A line wire is shown terminating in ground plates and with a telephone in circuit at each end. The latter consists of a magnet N S with a coil of insulated wire H surrounding one end. Facing the pole of the magnet is a soft iron diaphragm D, held in a frame or mouthpiece T. Any change of current in the line affects the magnetism of the magnet, causing it to attract the diaphragm more or less. The magnet and diaphragm really constitute a little electric motor, the diaphragm vibrating back and forth through an exceedingly short range, for changes in the magnetic attraction. The principle of the reversibility of the dynamo applies here. If the magnet is subjected to no change in magnetism, and if the diaphragm is moved or vibrated in front of its poles, currents will be induced in the wire bobbin which surrounds its end. If two such magnets with bobbins and diaphragms are arranged as shown, vibrations imparted to one diaphragm will send currents through the line which, affecting the magnetism of the distant magnet, will cause its diaphragm to vibrate in exact accordance with the motions of the first or motor diaphragm. In the combination one telephone represents a dynamo, the other a motor. If the vibrations of the diaphragm are imparted by the voice, the voice with all its modulations will be reproduced by the telephone at the distant end of the line.

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz

  1. TELEPHONE

    From Eng. _tell_, to talk, and Grk. _phonos_, murder. A machine in which talk is murdered.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. telephone

    An instrument for reproducing sounds, especially articulate speech, at a distance, by the aid of electricity or electro-magnetism. It consists essentially of a device by which currents of electricity, produced by the sounds, and exactly corresponding in duration and intensity to the vibrations of the air which attend them, are transmitted to a distant station, and there, acting on suitable mechanism, reproduce similar sounds by repeating the vibrations. Telephones were recently used by Sir Garnet Wolseley in the war in Zululand, and are being rapidly adopted in European armies.

Editors Contribution

  1. telephone

    A type of device created and designed for people and systems to communicate, transmit, hear and speak using equipment and technology.

    A telephone in 2020 can be a hand held device or online technological tool or piece of software.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 11, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. telephone

    The telephone symbol -- In this Symbols.com article you will learn about the meaning of the telephone symbol and its characteristic.

  2. telephone

    Song lyrics by telephone -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by telephone on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'telephone' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1618

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'telephone' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1297

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'telephone' in Nouns Frequency: #656

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'telephone' in Verbs Frequency: #662

How to pronounce telephone?

How to say telephone in sign language?

Numerology

  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of telephone in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of telephone in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of telephone in a Sentence

  1. Harold Feld:

    Right now, the FCC has designated [the Internet] as a telecommunications service —like a phone service which includes all of the rules that apply to prevent [a company] from blocking or throttling or favoring one company over another, the real question, to some degree, is: is the Internet going to work like the old telephone where you get to decide who you called and what you do or is it going to become more like cable?

  2. Jeff Link:

    Theyre going to have to figure out how to connect with people at night, i assume theyre going to do a lot of these telephone town halls. Theyre just going to have to be really creative about finding ways to keep in touch with not only undecided voters but their supporters at night.

  3. Bill Maher:

    This is why I'm a little hopeful that this purity purge may end because it's starting to eat its own, eSPN reporter Rachel Nichols was a feminist success story but when she complained in a private telephone call about ESPN's crappy longtime record on diversity and expressed her view that she felt like she was being sacrificed by the network so they could make up for that crappy longtime record on diversity, the call was leaked and she was toast. Now, in addition to the fact that a person should have to love getting fired, even if it does achieve more equity, this was a private call ! Does ‘ private ’ mean anything anymore ? Apparently not !

  4. James Harrington:

    In a telephone call with the brother about the entire family, our interpreter told him that Ramzi wished his son well in his school.

  5. Todd Carroll:

    Why a president is talking to an ambassador on a non-encrypted telephone is crazy for today's age, and worse in public, ukraine is one of the most open areas for intelligence agencies to work in. Both sides. I was told when I was there in 2010 that expect all your calls to be monitored.

Images & Illustrations of telephone

  1. telephonetelephonetelephonetelephonetelephone

Popularity rank by frequency of use

telephone#1#1290#10000

Translations for telephone

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    light informal conversation for social occasions
    • A. mumblety-peg
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