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[tel-ee] /ˈtɛl i/
noun, plural tellies. British Informal.
a television receiving set.
Origin of telly
First recorded in 1935-40; tel(evision) + -y2


or telly

[tel-ee] /ˈtɛl i/
noun, British Informal.
by shortening Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for telly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He reentered in time to run into a telly team which was doing a live broadcast.

    Mercenary Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • Joe, of course, was fully aware of the value of telly and was glad to co-operate.

    Mercenary Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • He called to the telly reporter who was getting as much of this as he could.

    Mercenary Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • Could you tell the telly fans what this is all about, Marshal Cogswell?

    Mercenary Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • Better go into t'other room where telly's settin' the table.

    Uncle Terry Charles Clark Munn
  • He was seldom seen at church, though his wife and telly usually were.

    Uncle Terry Charles Clark Munn
British Dictionary definitions for telly


noun (pl) -lies
(informal, mainly Brit) short for television
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for telly

chiefly British English shortening of television, attested by 1940.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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