Definition of phone it in in English:

phone it in


  • Work or perform in a perfunctory or unenthusiastic manner.

    • ‘Because Bill Barol and his beloved Blather Blog has returned after a months-long hiatus, including a few weeks there when he was obviously just sort of phoning it in, not that we don't all do that on occasion, of course.’
    • ‘In fact, I think Jumbah is totally phoning it in.’
    • ‘Well, I guess I'd be phoning it in too if I knew that after my scene wrapped I could go back to partying on my yacht with my movie star friends on Lake Como.’
    • ‘Comfort can easily lead to complacency, and for a band rooted in punk's Riot Grrrl movement, there's no greater sin than phoning it in.’
    • ‘Yeah, it's August, but someone's really phoning it in at the Guardian.’
    • ‘On this collection Sarah Vaughan sounds like she's phoning it in - you can almost hear her yawning.’
    • ‘I talked to a newsperson who said the U.S. military is just phoning it in.’
    • ‘Other people see talent and virtuosity; I see a narcissist who's phoning it in.’
    • ‘Bronson simply phones it in and collects his check, though probably having his wife Jill Ireland as co-producer was a nice inducement.’
    • ‘Renée Zellweger's mannered neuroticism is becoming increasingly annoying and Catherine Zeta-Jones phones it in.’
    • ‘Sure, the official first game of the season took place, but so did four preseason games and another contest where the Rangers phoned it in against their Oklahoma City affiliate.’
    • ‘Jesse Ventura is brought up, but Dave says towards the end he phoned it in.’
    • ‘He seems content to just phone it in, and why shouldn't he?’
    • ‘Dangers never succumbs to the temptation to phone it in, and he never relegates himself to simply giving in and playing generic pop music.’
    • ‘Without a muse-cum-taskmaster Timbaland is tempted to phone it in, as he does on Under Construction II, a sequel not worthy of the name.’
    • ‘The theater district's Chimichurri Grill offers an Argentine menu that doesn't just phone it in.’
    • ‘Anthony Edwards and Gary Sinise both phone it in, and Dominic West has little trouble playing the drunk.’
    • ‘So as they say in showbiz speech, he's phoning it in tonight.’
    • ‘I can question his choice of material (as I often do), but I certainly can't complain that he's phoning it in.’
    • ‘The band still makes some great songs; when the group misses, it's by trying to do too much, not by phoning it in Stones-like.’