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call (v.)

mid-13c., "to cry out; call for, summon, invoke; ask for, demand, order; give a name to, apply by way of designation," from Old Norse kalla "to cry loudly, summon in a loud voice; name, call by name," from Proto-Germanic *kall- (source also of Middle Dutch kallen "to speak, say, tell," Dutch kallen "to talk, chatter," Old High German kallon "to speak loudly, call"), from PIE root *gal- "to call, shout." Related: Called; calling.

Old English cognate ceallian "to shout, utter in a loud voice" was rare, the usual word being clipian (source of Middle English clepe, yclept). Old English also had hropan hruofan, cognate of German rufen. Coin-toss sense is from 1801; card-playing sense "demand that the hands be shown" is from 1670s; poker sense "match or raise a bet" is by 1889. Meaning "to make a short stop or visit" (Middle English) was literally "to stand at the door and call." Telephone sense is from 1882.

To call for "demand, require" is from 1530s (earlier in this sense was call after, c. 1400). To call (something) back "revoke" is from 1550s. To call (something) off "cancel" is by 1888; earlier call off meant "summon away, divert" (1630s). To call (someone) names is from 1590s. To call out someone to fight (1823) corresponds to French provoquer. To call it a night "go to bed" is from 1919.

call (n.)

early 14c., "a loud cry, an outcry," also "a summons, an invitation," from call (v.). From 1580s as "a summons" (by bugle, drum, etc.) to military men to perform some duty; from 1680s as "the cry or note of a bird." Sense of "a short formal visit" is from 1862; meaning "a communication by telephone" is from 1878. From 1670s as "requirement, duty, right," hence, colloquially, "occasion, cause."

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Definitions of call from WordNet
1
call (v.)
assign a specified (usually proper) proper name to;
Synonyms: name / know as / be known as
call (v.)
ascribe a quality to or give a name of a common noun that reflects a quality;
She called her children lazy and ungrateful
He called me a bastard
call (v.)
get or try to get into communication (with someone) by telephone;
I tried to call you all night
Take two aspirin and call me in the morning
Synonyms: telephone / call up / phone / ring
call (v.)
utter a sudden loud cry;
Synonyms: shout / shout out / cry / yell / scream / holler / hollo / squall
call (v.)
order, request, or command to come;
She was called into the director's office
Synonyms: send for
call (v.)
pay a brief visit;
The mayor likes to call on some of the prominent citizens
Synonyms: visit / call in
call (v.)
call a meeting; invite or command to meet;
The Wannsee Conference was called to discuss the `Final Solution'
The new dean calls meetings every week
call (v.)
read aloud to check for omissions or absentees;
call (v.)
send a message or attempt to reach someone by radio, phone, etc.; make a signal to in order to transmit a message;
A transmitter in Samoa was heard calling
Hawaii is calling!
call (v.)
utter a characteristic note or cry;
bluejays called to one another
call (v.)
stop or postpone because of adverse conditions, such as bad weather;
call a football game
call (v.)
greet, as with a prescribed form, title, or name;
She calls him by first name
Synonyms: address
call (v.)
make a stop in a harbour;
The ship will call in Honolulu tomorrow
call (v.)
demand payment of (a loan);
Synonyms: call in
call (v.)
make a demand, as for a card or a suit or a show of hands;
He called his trump
Synonyms: bid
call (v.)
give the calls (to the dancers) for a square dance;
Synonyms: call off
call (v.)
indicate a decision in regard to;
call balls and strikes behind the plate
call (v.)
make a prediction about; tell in advance;
call (v.)
require the presentation of for redemption before maturation;
call (v.)
challenge (somebody) to make good on a statement; charge with or censure for an offense;
He deserves to be called on that
call (v.)
declare in the capacity of an umpire or referee;
call a runner out
call (v.)
lure by imitating the characteristic call of an animal;
call (v.)
order or request or give a command for;
The unions called a general strike for Sunday
call (v.)
order, summon, or request for a specific duty or activity, work, role;
He was already called 4 times for jury duty
They called him to active military duty
call (v.)
utter in a loud voice or announce;
He called my name
The auctioneer called the bids
call (v.)
challenge the sincerity or truthfulness of;
call the speaker on a question of fact
call (v.)
consider or regard as being;
I would not call her beautiful
call (v.)
rouse somebody from sleep with a call;
I was called at 5 A.M. this morning
2
call (n.)
a telephone connection;
she reported several anonymous calls
he heard the phone ringing but didn't want to take the call
he placed a phone call to London
Synonyms: phone call / telephone call
call (n.)
a loud utterance; often in protest or opposition;
Synonyms: cry / outcry / yell / shout / vociferation
call (n.)
a demand especially in the phrase "the call of duty";
Synonyms: claim
call (n.)
the characteristic sound produced by a bird;
Synonyms: birdcall / birdsong / song
call (n.)
a brief social visit;
senior professors' wives no longer make afternoon calls on newcomers
the characters in Henry James' novels are forever paying calls on each other, usually in the parlor of some residence
call (n.)
a demand by a broker that a customer deposit enough to bring his margin up to the minimum requirement;
Synonyms: margin call
call (n.)
a demand for a show of hands in a card game;
after two raises there was a call
call (n.)
a request;
many calls for Christmas stories
not many calls for buggywhips
call (n.)
an instruction that interrupts the program being executed;
Pascal performs calls by simply giving the name of the routine to be executed
call (n.)
a visit in an official or professional capacity;
the pastor's calls on his parishioners
the salesman's call on a customer
call (n.)
(sports) the decision made by an umpire or referee;
he was ejected for protesting the call
call (n.)
the option to buy a given stock (or stock index or commodity future) at a given price before a given date;
Synonyms: call option
3
Call (n.)
a special disposition (as if from a divine source) to pursue a particular course;
From wordnet.princeton.edu