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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of the seven regional telephone companies created in 1984 when AT&T was ordered to divest itself of its local telephone service operations.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of the Regional Bell Operating Companies resulting from the division of AT&T Corporation into a number of smaller companies in the 1980s as part of an antitrust agreement.


From (Ma) Bell, nickname for Bell Telephone Company, after Alexander Graham Bell.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


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