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telephone

[tel-uh-fohn] /ˈtɛl əˌfoʊn/
noun
1.
an apparatus, system, or process for transmission of sound or speech to a distant point, especially by an electric device.
verb (used with object), telephoned, telephoning.
2.
to speak to or summon (a person) by telephone.
3.
to send (a message) by telephone.
verb (used without object), telephoned, telephoning.
4.
to send a message by telephone.
Also, phone.
Origin
1825-1835
1825-35; tele-1 + -phone
Related forms
telephoner, noun
pretelephone, adjective
retelephone, verb, retelephoned, retelephoning.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for re telephone

telephone

/ˈtɛlɪˌfəʊn/
noun
1.
  1. Also called telephone set. an electrical device for transmitting speech, consisting of a microphone and receiver mounted on a handset
  2. (as modifier): a telephone receiver
2.
  1. a worldwide system of communications using telephones. The microphone in one telephone converts sound waves into electrical signals that are transmitted along a telephone wire or by radio to one or more distant sets, the receivers of which reconvert the incoming signal into the original sound
  2. (as modifier): a telephone exchange, a telephone call
3.
verb
4.
to call or talk to (a person) by telephone
5.
to transmit (a recorded message, radio or television programme, or other information) by telephone, using special transmitting and receiving equipment
Often shortened to phone
Derived Forms
telephoner, noun
telephonic (ˌtɛlɪˈfɒnɪk) adjective
telephonically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for re telephone

telephone

n.

1835, "apparatus for signaling by musical notes" (devised by Sudré in 1828), from French téléphone (c.1830), from télé- "far" (see tele-) + phone "sound" (see fame (n.)). Also used of other apparatus early 19c., including "instrument similar to a foghorn for signaling from ship to ship" (1844). The electrical communication tool was first described in modern form by P.Reis (1861); developed by Bell, and so called by him from 1876.

v.

1878, from telephone (n.). Related: Telephoned; telephoning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for re telephone

telephone

instrument designed for simultaneous two-way voice communication and the technological system through which it is employed. It is a central part of modern telecommunication.

Learn more about telephone with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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