• Sun-dial
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v dial choose by means of a dial "dial a telephone number"
    • v dial operate a dial to select a telephone number "You must take the receiver off the hook before you dial"
    • n dial the face of a timepiece; graduated to show the hours
    • n dial a disc on a telephone that is rotated a fixed distance for each number called
    • n dial the circular graduated indicator on various measuring instruments
    • n dial the control on a radio or television set that is used for tuning
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In Billings, Montana it is illegal for employees of the city's communications center to program their phones with speed dial.
    • Dial A miner's compass.
    • Dial 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.
    • Dial The graduated face of a timepiece, on which the time of day is shown by pointers or hands.
    • Dial To measure with a dial. "Hours of that true time which is dialed in heaven."
    • Dial (Mining) To survey with a dial.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The international telephone dialing code for Antarctica is 672.
    • n dial 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 dial The face of a clock or watch, upon which the hours and minutes are marked, and over which the hands move.
    • n dial 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 dial 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 dial In telegraphy and horology, an insulated stationary wheel exhibiting upon its face letters, numerals, or other characters.
    • n dial The lettered or numbered face-plate of a permutation-lock.
    • n dial A mariners' compass.
    • n dial In mining, a compass or graduated circle with a magnetic needle, arranged for underground surveying where great accuracy is not required. [Eng.]
    • n dial A lapidaries' instrument for holding a gem while it is being cut. It carries the dot to which the gem is directly fixed.
    • dial To measure with or as if with a dial; indicate upon or as if upon a dial.
    • dial In mining, to survey with the aid of the dial or miners' compass, as a mine or underground workings.
    • n dial The commercial name for the best grade of kaurigum.
    • n dial An abbreviation of dialect
    • n dial of dialectal, dialectic, or dialectical.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: If you need to dial the telephone and your dial is disabled, you can tap the button in the cradle. If, for example, you need to dial 911, you can tap the button 9 times, then pause, then tap once, then again.
    • n Dial dī′al an instrument for showing the time of day by the sun's shadow: a timepiece: the face of a watch or clock: a circular plate on which a movable index shows the degree of pressure, &c
    • v.t Dial to measure, as with a dial
    • ***


  • William Shakespeare
    “And I did laugh sans intermission an hour by his dial. O noble fool, a worthy fool -- motley's the only wear.”
  • Samuel Butler
    “Loyalty is still the same, whether it win or lose the game; true as a dial to the sun, although it be not shined upon.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
LL. dialis, daily, fr. L. dies, day. See Deity


In literature:

Dial mottoes, &c., 155.
"Notes and Queries, Index of Volume 5, January-June, 1852" by Various
Attached to it were various gauges, with dials showing red and black numbers.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, October, 1930" by Various
He turned the dial to Albany.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, November, 1930" by Various
Note that the fractions of a second (quarters) are shown on the outside dial instead of on a separate dial.
"The Auburndale Watch Company" by Edwin A. Battison
The delicate fingers of the massed dials before Keith danced exultantly.
"Astounding Stories, February, 1931" by Various
Peering over the spectacles, McAllen made careful adjustments on two sets of small dials, and closed and locked the safe again.
"Gone Fishing" by James H. Schmitz
Charlie moved his dials again.
"Astounding Stories, March, 1931" by Various
The Eurasian picked up a long, slender, tubelike instrument with a dial topping it.
"The Passing of Ku Sui" by Anthony Gilmore
The altitude dial's pointer reached for one thousand and slid past.
"Hawk Carse" by Anthony Gilmore
He had to hold it close to see the dial through the murk.
"The Flying Stingaree" by Harold Leland Goodwin

In poetry:

He saw the heat on the thin grass
Fall till it withered joint by joint,
The shadow on the dial pass
From point to point.
"The Poet's Song" by Archibald Lampman
But while time's dial was still moving,
God, in a mysterious way,
Let man go in his wonder,
He knew the time and the day.
"The Easter Man" by Frank Barbour Coffin
And where, in lichened hoariness,
The broken marble dial-plate
Basks in the Summer's sultriness,
Rich houri roses palpitate.
"An Antique" by Madison Julius Cawein
The sun-dial was so aged
It had gathered a thoughtful grace;
'Twas the round-about of the shadow
That so had furrowed its face.
"The Old Garden" by George MacDonald
Years, by her unmarked, unnumbered,
Crossed the dial-plate of Time;
Then she passed, one quiet midnight,
To the unseen Spirit-Clime.
"The Legend Of The Iron Cross" by Mary Gardiner Horsford
As moments pass by dial, so
Let gifts go round the happy circle where
In giving and receiving each may share,
And mutual kindness show.
"Christmas-Tide" by Hattie Howard

In news:

Dial N' Deal with Doug Herendeen.
Bound Rape Victim Uses Tongue to Dial 911.
He also dials up outdoors expert Babe Winkleman to get some facts on turkeys.
I prefer the model with a rotary dial.
Bottom line, says Sen Gerald Dial, 'We're not hateful and mean.
She may have the top dermatologists in the business on speed dial and the most expensive skin products money can buy at her disposal, but Kim Kardashian still can't avoid acne breakouts.
After sticking with his hopes for a shot at the Oval Office, it looks as though Texas Congressman Ron Paul is dialing down his campaign for president in 2012.
Ping's newest driver relies on a little bit of loft, and the right shaft, to dial in your perfect tee shot.
If so, tune in to KBBY B95.1 on your radio dial and you'll hear nothing but Christmas music, 24/7, until Christmas.
Your fear that you'll give up potential returns if you dial back your stock stake, though, isn't unfounded.
After further review, the SEC has decided not to punish Alabama defensive end Quinton Dial for his hit on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray in this year's SEC championship game.
Today we're turning the fashion dial from the feminine to the masculine.
The state Public Utility Commission is giving people in the 570 area code more time adapt to 10-digit dialing.
But in an era of programmed numbers, smartphones and hands-free dialing, do people really need it.
The Public Utility Commission is giving people in the 570 area code more time to adapt to 10-digit dialing.

In science:

Furthermore, the miss rate of a redial button is 64%, but the context-based dial button has a miss rate of 27% (Figure 12).
Practical Context Awareness: Measuring and Utilizing the Context Dependency of Mobile Usage
Note that the canonical element νi can be thought of as a “dial” which can be set to three possible values, which resolve the necessary ambiguity in the set rot(X (GKi , αi )), namely that it be invariant under x → −x, and that it contain 0. 1.2.
Dynamical forcing of circular groups
Second, our spacetimes reduce to the exact black hole spacetimes of general relativity in a natural way, by dialing the “bumpiness” of the black hole to zero.
Towards a formalism for mapping the spacetimes of massive compact objects: Bumpy black holes and their orbits
The advantage of lattice QCD over χPT is that one can carry out simulations dialing the quark masses and thus validate Eq. 1 over a range of quark masses.
Phenomenology using lattice QCD
Contributions in ICGC-04 have observationally addressed theoretical assumptions such as the statistical isotropy of CMB fluctuations, scale invariance in the primor dial power spectrum and parity conservation in electromagnetic interactions.
Summary of ICGC04 Cosmology Workshop