call 2 S1 W1 noun
1 telephone [ countable ] when you speak to someone on the telephone call for
Were there any phone calls for me while I was out?
I received a call from an old friend last week.
It’s cheaper to make calls after 6 pm.
I’ll give you a call at the weekend.
2 be on call if someone such as a doctor or engineer is on call, they are ready to go and help whenever they are needed as part of their job :
Don’t worry, there’s a doctor on call 24 hours a day.
3 shout/cry [ countable ] a) a loud sound that a bird or animal makes SYN cry call of
the call of an owl
b) a shout that you make to get someone’s attention
4 visit [ countable ] a visit, especially for a particular reason :
Sorry, Doctor Pugh is out on a call at the moment.
pay/make a call (on somebody) (= visit someone )
5 request/order [ countable ] a request or order for something or for someone to do something :
Members obediently answered the calls for funds.
call for somebody to do something
There have been calls for the secretary to resign.
a call to arms (= an order for people to fight against an enemy )
6 decision a) [ countable ] the decision made by a referee in a sports game make a good/bad call
There may have been a few bad calls, but they’re making them for a reason.
b) [ singular ] informal a decision :
Don’t just say what you think I would like. It’s your call .
make a call (= decide something )
an easy/hard call (= an easy or difficult decision )
judgement call (= a decision based on your personal judgement of a situation )
7 there isn’t much call for something used for saying that not many people want a particular thing :
There isn’t much call for black and white televisions these days.
8 there is no call for something spoken used to tell someone that their behaviour is wrong and unnecessary :
There’s no call for that kind of language!
9 at an airport [ countable ] a message announced at an airport that a particular plane will soon leave :
This is the last call for flight BA872 to Moscow.
10 have first call on something
a) to have the right to be the first person to use something
b) to be the first person that you will help because they are important to you :
Her children had first call on her time.
11 the call of something literary the power that a place or way of life has to attract someone :
the call of the sea
12 the call of nature a need to urinate (= pass liquid from your body ) – used especially humorously
→ be at sb’s beck and call at beck ( 1 ) , → port of call , roll-call , wake-up call
make a call He made a few calls and then went out.
give somebody a call (= phone someone ) I’ll give him a call later today.
get/have a call ( also receive a call formal ) At 11 in the evening we got a call from the police.
there is/was a call There was a phone call for you.
answer a call We’re sorry that we cannot answer your call right now.
take a call (= answer one ) Monica took the call upstairs.
return sb’s call (= call someone after they have tried to call you ) I left a message for her but she didn’t return my call.
expect a call She’s expecting a phone call from Matt.
transfer a call (= connect one to another person’s phone ) The call was transferred to his secretary.
put through a call (= transfer or make one ) She asked the switchboard to put the call through.
ADJECTIVES/NOUN + call
a phone/telephone call I had a phone call from Barbara in Australia.
a quick call This is just a quick call to make sure you’re OK.
a local call Local calls are free at weekends.
a long-distance call I’d like to make a long-distance call.
an international call
a collect call American English (= one paid for by the person who receives it ) Can I make a collect call to Florida, please?
incoming/outgoing calls (= coming into or going out of a place ) You have to dial 9 first to make an outgoing call.
an emergency call (= to the police, fire service, or ambulance service ) The police normally respond immediately to an emergency call.
a hoax call (= one intended to trick someone ) They received a hoax call warning of a bomb in the building.
an anonymous call (= in which the caller does not give their name ) The £10,000 demand was made in an anonymous call to his home.
a crank call (= made by someone you do not know, as a joke or to annoy you ) The heavy breathing sounded like a crank call.
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition
call / kɔːl / / kɑːl / noun [ C ] informal (DECISION)
It was a tough call , but eventually I decided to give up my job.
More investment? That's got to be your call - you're the one that's paying!
© Cambridge University Press 2013