Definition of call someone out in English:

call someone out

phrasal verb

  • 1Summon someone to deal with an emergency or to do repairs.

    ‘patients are to be told to stop calling doctors out unnecessarily at night’
    • ‘The cracks were discovered last month after the gas company was called out to deal with an emergency pipe leak.’
    • ‘The emergency doctor was called out at 2.15am.’
    • ‘Any time there was an emergency, Gus could be called out and his wife and daughters had to fend for themselves.’
    • ‘The school would make headlines six years later, when the Governor called out the Arkansas National Guard to prevent its integration.’
    • ‘When veterinarian Gail McCarthy is called out to the scene there isn't much she can do.’
    • ‘No need to call out the royal guard; all parties are declared not guilty and are free to go.’
    • ‘The police call out their elite strike force and the fuzz tour the resort for a little evidence tampering.’
    • ‘I've had to call the police out a couple of times, and the problem has been and gone over the years, depending on her medication.’
    • ‘So, to beat the system, I've requested that we call the electrician out again.’
    • ‘Last month we had to call the doctor out because the stress of all this had sent Hilary's muscles into spasm.’
  • 2Order or advise workers to strike.

    • ‘‘We'd have torn up our NUJ cards if they called us out on strike,’ said another.’
    • ‘Workers on London's Docklands Light Railway were called out on strike for 24 hours from 6.30 pm on March 25.’
    • ‘Unison members in colleges were in disbelief that they had not been called out alongside members of other unions.’
    • ‘Union members in London are now demanding that they are called out to join the selective action within the next two weeks.’
    • ‘Nevertheless many of these workers did come out on the national days of action or when local unions called them out, and they solidarised with those who were on strike.’
    • ‘The rank and file have been 100 percent solid whenever they have been called out.’
    • ‘About 10,000 members at the bank's branches and call centers around the UK had been called out, a spokesman for the union said.’
    • ‘The Fire Brigades Union called its 50,000 members out on strikes last November.’
    • ‘Splinter groups of communists and Trotskyists fought for supremacy on the shop floor, calling workers out on strike and typifying the industrial travails of the time.’
    • ‘We urge the CWU not to call our people out on strike action, which can only hurt our customers.’
  • 3

    (also call someone out on something, call someone on something)
    North American Draw critical attention to someone's unacceptable actions or behaviour.

    ‘people were calling him out for his negative comments’
    ‘Dan had called her out on a couple of contradictions in her story’
    ‘she called him on his claim that the media were doing a bad job of covering the economy’
    • ‘It's time for audiences to call them out on their hypocrisy and demand better representations of diversity.’
    • ‘You are the one that keeps twisting what you're saying whenever you are called out on it.’
    • ‘He essentially just called the team out for being lazy.’
    • ‘Larry didn't call her out on anything during the interview either.’
    • ‘These bystanders can help mitigate abuse by calling out bullies.’
    • ‘I'm one of those moms that will question their children about things that don't make sense, and call them out on their lies.’
    • ‘Rip the cloak of secrecy off abuse and openly call out every abuser by name; perhaps some real change would begin.’
    • ‘The 84-year-old stopped short of apologising for calling Katy out for being late, but said she was sorry if it made her more upset during that sad time.’
    • ‘The pay's good, and hardly anyone will call you on your decisions when you're wrong.’
    • ‘She gets the whole house riled up, then walks away like nothing happened, and nobody calls her on it.’
  • 4archaic Challenge someone to a duel.

    • ‘When he is called out to fight a duel, Boris cannot pull the trigger.’
    • ‘Your princess was well within her rights to call him out to duel.’
    • ‘I'm pretty sure they each would have stepped up to the challenge if the other had called them out.’
    • ‘I'll call him out and we'll settle this once and for all.’
    • ‘Steve told Clarence that I called him out, but that he wouldn't fight me.’