American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A graduated surface or face on which a measurement, such as speed, is indicated by a moving needle or pointer.
- n. The face of a clock.
- n. A sundial.
- n. The panel or face on a radio or television receiver on which the frequencies or channels are indicated.
- n. A movable control knob or other device on a radio or television receiver used to change the frequency.
- n. A rotatable disk on a telephone with numbers and letters, used to signal the number to which a call is made.
- v. To measure with or as if with a dial.
- v. To point to, indicate, or register by means of a dial.
- v. To control or select by means of a dial: dial a radio station.
- v. To call (a party) on a telephone.
- v. To signal (a number) in making a telephone call: The program dials the number and then connects to the file server.
- v. To use a dial.
- v. To use a telephone.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An instrument for indicating the hour of the day by means of a shadow thrown upon a graduated surface. For dials with a style or gnomon, see sun-dial; for portable dials, see ring-dial, poke-dial, and solarium.
- n. The face of a clock or watch, upon which the hours and minutes are marked, and over which the hands move.
- n. Hence A timepiece of any kind; a clock or watch. In the first extract Shakspere may have meant a portable dial of the kind described below; but in the second a watch of some kind seems to be clearly indicated.
- n. Any plate or face on which a pointer or an index moves, marking revolutions, pressure, etc., according to the nature of the machinery of which it forms part: as, the dial of a steamgage, gas-meter, or telegraphic instrument.
- n. In telegraphy and horology, an insulated stationary wheel exhibiting upon its face letters, numerals, or other characters.
- n. The lettered or numbered face-plate of a permutation-lock.
- n. A mariners' compass.
- n. In mining, a compass or graduated circle with a magnetic needle, arranged for underground surveying where great accuracy is not required. [Eng.]
- n. A lapidaries' instrument for holding a gem while it is being cut. It carries the dot to which the gem is directly fixed.
- To measure with or as if with a dial; indicate upon or as if upon a dial.
- In mining, to survey with the aid of the dial or miners' compass, as a mine or underground workings.
- n. The commercial name for the best grade of kaurigum.
- n. An abbreviation of dialect
- n. of dialectal, dialectic, or dialectical.
- n. A graduated, circular scale over which a needle moves to show a measurement (such as speed).
- n. A clock face.
- n. A sundial.
- n. A panel on a radio etc showing wavelengths or channels; a knob that is turned to change the wavelength etc.
- n. A disk with finger holes on a telephone; used to select the number to be called.
- n. UK, dated A person's face.
- v. transitive To measure or indicate something with a dial.
- v. transitive To control or select something with a dial
- v. transitive To select a number, or to call someone, on a telephone.
- v. intransitive To use a dial or a telephone.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. An instrument, formerly much used for showing the time of day from the shadow of a style or gnomon on a graduated arc or surface; esp., a sundial; but there are lunar and astral
dials. The style or gnomon is usually parallel to the earth's axis, but the dial plate may be either horizontal or vertical.
- n. The graduated face of a timepiece, on which the time of day is shown by pointers or hands.
- n. A miner's compass.
- v. To measure with a dial.
- v. (Mining) To survey with a dial.
- n. the circular graduated indicator on various measuring instruments
- n. a disc on a telephone that is rotated a fixed distance for each number called
- v. operate a dial to select a telephone number
- n. the control on a radio or television set that is used for tuning
- v. choose by means of a dial
- n. the face of a timepiece; graduated to show the hours
- Its original meaning was 'sundial' and/or 'clock dial', from Latin diālis ("daily, concerning the day"), because of its use in telling the time of day. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, sundial, clock, from Old French dyal, from Medieval Latin diāle, from neuter of diālis, daily, from Latin diēs, day. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“We gathered together a group of undecided voters for what we call a dial test.”
“On the castle just above the dial is a one-fingered clock, which was given by Queen Elizabeth in 1597.”
“Undoubtedly your dial is stuck on MSNBC, a very fine and balanced outlet.”
“I also find voice mail to be horribly inefficient, especially as my direct dial is the wrong number to reach for more general information (I am in marketing, customer service is a toll-free number always staffed).”
“The ring around the central dial is spring-loaded, and lets you move the axes at any of several speeds.”
“It's missing a dial from the Kennedy Radio Company.”
“Tuning around the local-radio dial is more like staying in an endless string of bed-and-breakfasts, the kind with talkative hosts.”
“And the voice dialing ... some form of voice dial is getting to be pretty standard on phones now. iPhone really needs that.”
“The worst-performing methods were mobile phone voice calls, getting through every time 55.2% of the time, then 45.5% had success with disaster emergency message dial from a fixed line, and last was mobile phone disaster emergency message board, with just 38.5% reporting success.”
“Used disaster emergency message dial from a fixed-line phone”
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