verb (used with object), told, telling.
to give an account or narrative of; narrate; relate (a story, tale, etc.):
to tell the story of Lincoln’s childhood.
to make known by speech or writing (a fact, news, information, etc.); communicate.
to announce or proclaim.
to utter (the truth, a lie, etc.).
to express in words (thoughts, feelings, etc.).
to reveal or divulge (something secret or private).
to say plainly or positively:
I cannot tell just what was done.
to discern or recognize (a distant person or thing) so as to be able to identify or describe:
Can you tell who that is over there?
to distinguish; discriminate; ascertain:
You could hardly tell the difference between them.
to inform (a person) of something:
He told me his name.
to assure emphatically:
I won’t, I tell you!
to bid, order, or command:
Tell him to stop.
to mention one after another, as in enumerating; count or set one by one or in exact amount:
to tell the cattle in a herd; All told there were 17 if we are correct.
verb (used without object), told, telling.
to give an account or report:
Tell me about your trip.
to give evidence or be an indication:
The ruined temples told of an ancient culture, long since passed from existence.
to disclose something secret or private; inform; tattle:
She knows who did it, but she won’t tell.
to say positively; determine; predict:
Who can tell?
to have force or effect; operate effectively:
a contest in which every stroke tells.
to produce a marked or severe effect:
The strain was telling on his health.
British Dialect. to talk or chat.
to separate from the whole and assign to a particular duty.
Informal. to rebuke severely; scold:
It was about time that someone told him off.
tell on, to tattle on (someone).
tell it like it is, Informal. to tell the complete, unadulterated truth; be forthright:
He may be crude but he tells it like it is.
an artificial mound consisting of the accumulated remains of one or more ancient settlements (often used in Egypt and the Middle East as part of a place name).
[vil-helm] /ˈvɪl hɛlm/ (Show IPA), William Tell.
verb tells, telling, told
(when transitive, may take a clause as object) to let know or notify: he told me that he would go
(transitive) to order or instruct (someone to do something): I told her to send the letter airmail
when intr, usually foll by of. to give an account or narration (of something): she told me her troubles
(transitive) to communicate by words; utter: to tell the truth
(transitive) to make known; disclose: to tell fortunes
(intransitive) often foll by of. to serve as an indication: her blush told of her embarrassment
(transitive; used with can, etc; may take a clause as object) to comprehend, discover, or discern: I can tell what is wrong
(transitive; used with can, etc) to distinguish or discriminate: he couldn’t tell chalk from cheese
(intransitive) to have or produce an impact, effect, or strain: every step told on his bruised feet
(informal) (intransitive) sometimes foll by on. to reveal secrets or gossip (about): don’t tell!, she told on him
(transitive) to assure: I tell you, I’ve had enough!
(transitive) to count (votes)
(intransitive) (dialect) to talk or chatter
(informal, mainly US) to tell the truth no matter how unpleasant it is
tell the time, to read the time from a clock
(slang) you’re telling me, I know that very well
a large mound resulting from the accumulation of rubbish on a long-settled site, esp one with mudbrick buildings, particularly in the Middle East
William, German name Wilhelm Tell. a legendary Swiss patriot, who, traditionally, lived in the early 14th century and was compelled by an Austrian governor to shoot an apple from his son’s head with one shot of his crossbow. He did so without mishap
adjective 1. capable of being told. 2. worthy of being told.
adjective 1. thoroughly revealing; candid; personal: a tell-all biography of the movie star.
- Tell apart
verb 1. (transitive, adverb) to distinguish between; discern: can you tell the twins apart? Discern or distinguish, as in It’s hard to tell the twins apart. [ First half of 1900s ]
- Tell a thing or two
see: thing or two