Meaning of dial

di•al

Pronunciation: (dī'ul, dīl), [key]
— n., v., adj. di•aled, di•al•ing di•alled, di•al•ling,
—n.
  1. a plate, disk, face, or other surface containing markings or figures upon which the time of day is indicated by hands, pointers, or shadows, as of a clock or sundial.
  2. a plate or disk with markings or figures for indicating or registering some measurement or number, as of pressure, number of revolutions, the frequency to which a radio is tuned, etc., usually by means of a pointer.
  3. a rotatable plate, disk, or knob used for regulating a mechanism, making and breaking electrical connections, etc., as in tuning a radio or television station in or out.
  4. Also calleda rotatable plate or disk on a telephone, fitted with finger holes that are marked with letters or numbers, used in making calls through an automatic switchboard.
  5. any mechanism on the face of a telephone by which the caller places a call, as push buttons.
  6. Also calleda compass used for underground surveying.
—v.t.
  1. to indicate or register on or as if on a dial.
  2. to measure with or as if with a dial.
  3. to regulate, select, or tune in by means of a dial, as on a radio: to dial my favorite program.
  4. to make a telephone call to: Dial me at home.
—v.i.
  1. to use a telephone dial; to dial a telephone: I keep dialing, but the line seems dead.
  2. to tune in or regulate by means of a dial: to dial into the opera broadcast.
  3. to obtain, reach, or contact by telephone: to dial up stock-market information; to dial up Chicago and do some business.
—adj.
  1. (of a telephone) having a rotary dial mechanism.

dial.

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. dialect.
  2. dialectal.
  3. dialectic.
  4. dialectical.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
See also: