dial tone

noun
(in a telephone) a tone that indicates the line is ready for dialing.

Origin:
1890–95

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To dial tone
Collins
World English Dictionary
dialling tone or (US and Canadian) dial tone
 
n
ringing tone Compare engaged tone a continuous sound, either purring or high-pitched, heard over a telephone indicating that a number can be dialled
 
dial tone or (US and Canadian) dial tone
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Phone shopping is more complicated than it was in the days when a dial tone was
  all you needed.
Barely a decade after cellular phones arrived, cellular channels are so crowded
  that a dial tone is a scarce resource.
He liked to tell people how everyone in the company was amazed to pick up a
  handset and actually get a dial tone.
He ended the conversation by simply hanging up the phone, which went to a dial
  tone.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature