The Online Slang Dictionary
(American, English, and Urban slang)

Login     Register     Forgot password     Resend confirmation

Definition of dialed-in


  • To be very proficient at a given activity. Derived from having someone's phone number on speed dial; the skill is so familiar that it is easily accessed. Used in climbing, rafting, and kayaking sub-cultures, though not exclusively.
    That guy has got that climbing route dialed-in.

    Last edited on Dec 14 2001. Submitted by Che H. from Seattle, WA, USA on Dec 14 2001.


  • I believe the etymology is more about machine dials (and gauges), perhaps even precise micrometer dial settings.

    I heard the phrase "dialed-in" long before cellphones became common (in the late 1990s). A Viet Nam war vet neighbor of mine was using this expression in the mid-90s: "We had one guy who was a screw-up, till he got dialed-in." (This neigbor was also, later, an automotive engineer for Toyota and Ford.)

    The connotation was usually "The drilling rig is dialed-in." Or, "The pump is dialed-in. Turn it on." Meaning, all of the various gauges and dials are fully within optimal settings.

    I believe this has to do with machine dials, perhaps even micrometer dials, as in similar roots to "fully miked-out."

    Last edited on Jan 18 2013. Submitted by Anonymous on Jan 18 2013.

  • I'm pretty sure it refers to the adjustment of an old analog radio dial until a station was totally clear. In the old days you had to slowly turn the dial and you would get static if you were off the signal by even a small amount. Thus, dialed in means that you're getting the full effect, the real deal, the best experience.

    Last edited on Feb 13 2019. Submitted by Anonymous on Feb 13 2019.


  • Used in shooting to describe the accurate sighting-in of a rifle and telescopic sight using the elevation and windage dials to incrementally adjust the zero, until the point-of-impact eventually lands on the bullseye of the target. Also describes the act of adjusting the scope's dials in order to perform a precise shot without having to aim high to account for distance.

    Last edited on Mar 07 2021. Submitted by Hitchslap on Mar 07 2021.

+Add a definition for this slang term

More info:

Interactive stats:

Related words

Slang terms with the same meaning

None found.

Slang terms with the same root words

Other terms relating to 'dial':

Definitions include: When a small child accidentally calls people using their parent's phone. Similar to a butt-dial.
Definitions include: to accidentally call a person on a cellphone that's in one's pocket.
Definitions include: a person's face.
Definitions include: to reduce in frequency or intensity.
Definitions include: to reduce.
Definitions include: extreme approval, great, awesome, fine or meaning to be perfect, precise or better.
Definitions include: to vomit.
Definitions include: a bore, dullard.
Definitions include: to make or get something.
Definitions include: to make a phone call while drunk.

Other terms relating to 'in':

Definitions include: something you have now is worth more than two things you have just a chance of getting.
Definitions include: a secret advantage.
Definitions include: involving everyone or everything.
Definitions include: doing something emphatically.
Definitions include: no chance.
Definitions include: something easy.
Definitions include: at some time before the present.
Definitions include: having resumed an activity that one had previously stopped performing.
Definitions include: included.
Definitions include: clitoris.
Definitions include: to intrude.
Definitions include: See barge in.
Definitions include: To beat someone up, inflict head injury
Definitions include: visible mucus in one's nostrils.
Definitions include: acronym for "be back in a bit", i.e. "I will return in a short amount of time."

How common is this slang?

Don't click the following.
I use it(18)  
No longer use it(1)  
Heard it but never used it(11)  
Have never heard it(8)  

How vulgar is this slang?

Average of 20 votes: 4%  (See the most vulgar words.)

Least vulgar  
  Most vulgar

Your vote: None   (To vote, click the pepper. Vote how vulgar the word is – not how mean it is.)

Least vulgar  
  Most vulgar

Where is this slang used?

Logged-in users can add themselves to the map. Login, Register, Login instantly with Facebook.

Link to this slang definition

To link to this term in a web page or blog, insert the following.

<a href="">dialed-in</a>

To link to this term in a wiki such as Wikipedia, insert the following.

[ dialed-in]

Some wikis use a different format for links, so be sure to check the documentation.