General English

  • noun a telephone conversation, or an attempt to get in touch with someone by telephone
  • noun a telephone call or short conversation to wake someone
  • noun a visit to someone’s home or place of work
  • verb to say something loudly to someone who is some distance away
  • verb to give someone or something a name
  • verb to visit someone or somewhere


  • noun a demand for repayment of a loan by a lender
  • noun a demand to pay for new shares which then become paid up
  • verb to ask for a loan to be repaid immediately


  • noun a price established during a trading session
  • verb to ask for or order something to be done



  • verb to transfer control from a main program to a separate program or routine


  • noun an act of doing this, or the responsibility for doing this in a given situation
    Citation ‘If the striker hits the ball in front of the wicket it is his call; if he hits it behind the wicket it is his partner’s call’ (Henry Blofeld, Guardian 19 July 1983)
  • verb (of the umpire) to declare that a bowler has made an unfair delivery; no-ball a bowler
    Citation ‘Larwood opened the bowling to Woodfull and was “called” first ball for dragging his feet’ (Melbourne Argus 21 November 1932)
  • verb (of a batsman) to shout to the batsman at the opposite end in order to indicate whether a run should be taken
    Citation ‘Then turner called Mallet for an impossible run, and the latter was out by yards’ (P.G.Wodehouse, Report on Dulwich v. St Paul’s, 1939)


  • In computer programming, a statement or instruction which invokes a subroutine or another program. control of the program is temporarily transferred during this call, and subsequently returned after the subroutine or other program completes its task.
  • In communications, the establishing of a connection between stations.
  • In communications, the sending of a signal indicating the desire to establish a connection with another station.
  • In communications, the operations necessary to establish, maintain, and conclude a connection.


  • noun a particular number of years a barrister has practised at the bar
  • verb to admit someone to the bar to practise as a barrister

Media Studies

  • verb to contact a person by telephone or radio
  • verb to give a running commentary on a sports event, especially a horse race


  • verb to speak to someone on a radio or telephone


  • noun a visit to somebody’s house


  • verb to make an official decision in a sporting event or a game
  • verb to postpone or stop a sporting event because of bad weather or other unsuitable conditions
  • verb to commentate on radio or television on a sporting event, especially a horse race


  • A backstage term used in three different ways. It usually means the callor warning that tells actors and stage crew how much time is left before thecurtain rises. Traditionally, calls are given half an hour, quarter of an hour,and five minutes before curtain up. The term can also mean a noticeon the call board and is sometimes used as a short form of curtaincall.

Origin & History of “call”

Essentially, call is a Scandinavian word, although it does occur once in an Old English text, the late 10th-century Battle of Maldon. It was borrowed from Old Norse kalla, which can be traced back via west and north Germanic *kal- to an Indo-European base *gol- (among other derivatives of this is Serbo-Croat glagól ‘word’, source of Glagolitic, a term for an early Slavic alphabet).