verb (used with object), told, tell·ing.
verb (used without object), told, tell·ing.
- 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.
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Idioms for tell
Origin of tell1
Words nearby tell
Definition for tell (2 of 3)
Origin of tell2
Definition for tell (3 of 3)
How to use tell in a sentence
One of the topics I discussed was self-talk, which in the endurance world is basically the idea that telling yourself “You can do this!”What Marathoners (and Badminton Players) Think About|Alex Hutchinson|February 26, 2021|Outside Online
When confronted by PG&E investigators, Huggins told the investigators he had paid the $16,750 bill in cash, which he happened to have on hand in his house.Lawsuit Reveals New Allegations Against PG&E Contractor Accused of Fraud|by Scott Morris, Bay City News Foundation|February 26, 2021|ProPublica
Her grandson later reached out to Botros to thank him personally — and told him that the woman called all of her friends and urged them to get their shots, too.The joy of vax: The people giving the shots are seeing hope, and it’s contagious|Maura Judkis|February 25, 2021|Washington Post
The agents were telling him that they could lock him up for the rest of his life.
I feel his silence gives her permission to be unkind and tells me that I don't matter to him.Miss Manners: Get out of Dodge before the abusive mother-in-law visits|Judith Martin, Nicholas Martin, Jacobina Martin|February 25, 2021|Washington Post
As far as I can tell, this magazine spent as much time making fun of French politicians as it did of Muslims or Islam.
Police, their representatives and supporters tell us, ensure our freedom of speech through our ability to protest.Politicians Only Love Journalists When They're Dead|Luke O’Neil|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
“Jeffrey wanted me to tell you that you looked so pretty,” the female voice said into my disbelieving ear.
They were going to tell their story, consequences be damned.
And I tell Ollie, just look at me, because they just pulled out the pistolas.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile|Robert Ward|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
And to tell the truth, she couldn't help wishing he could see, so he could make the game livelier.The Tale of Grandfather Mole|Arthur Scott Bailey
Ages back—let musty geologists tell us how long ago—'twas a lake, larger than the Lake of Geneva.
Each day she resolved, "To-morrow I will tell Felipe;" and when to-morrow came, she put it off again.Ramona|Helen Hunt Jackson
He wanted to tell her that if she called her father, it would mean the end of everything for them, but he withheld this.The Homesteader|Oscar Micheaux
Monsieur,” growls the baron, “stone walls have ears, you say if only they had tongues; what tales these could tell!Checkmate|Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
British Dictionary definitions for tell (1 of 3)
verb tells, telling or told
Derived forms of telltellable, adjective
Word Origin for tell
British Dictionary definitions for tell (2 of 3)
Word Origin for tell
British Dictionary definitions for tell (3 of 3)
Idioms and Phrases with tell
In addition to the idioms beginning with tell
- tell apart
- tell a thing or two
- tell it like it is
- tell it to the Marines
- tell me
- tell off
- tell on
- tell someone where to get off
- tell tales
- tell time
- do tell
- kiss and tell
- show and tell
- something tells me
- there's no telling
- thing or two, tell a
- time will tell
- which is which, tell
- you never can tell
- you're telling me
Also see undertold.