definitions
  • synonyms

tell

1
[ tel ]
/ tɛl /
|||
SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR tell ON THESAURUS.COM

verb (used with object), told, tell·ing.

verb (used without object), told, tell·ing.

Verb Phrases

tell off,
  1. to separate from the whole and assign to a particular duty.
  2. Informal. to rebuke severely; scold: It was about time that someone told him off.
tell on, to tattle on (someone).

RELATED CONTENT

READ MORE

RELATED WORDS

disclose, reveal, instruct, confess, mention, explain, express, state, order, inform, say, notify, report, announce, advise, summon, declare, speak, portray, recount

Nearby words

telic, telidon, teliospore, telium, telkom, tell, tell a thing or two, tell apart, tell el amarna, tell it like it is, tell it to the marines

Idioms

    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.

Origin of tell

1
before 900; Middle English tellen, Old English tellan to relate, count; cognate with Dutch tellen to reckon, count, Old Norse telja to count, say, Old High German zellēn; akin to tale
SYNONYMS FOR tell

Definition for tell (2 of 3)

tell

2
[ tel ]
/ tɛl /

noun

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).

Origin of tell

2
First recorded in 1860–65, tell is from the Arabic word tall hillock

Definition for tell (3 of 3)

Tell

[ tel ]
/ tɛl /

noun

Wil·helm [vil-helm] /ˈvɪl hɛlm/. William Tell.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tell

British Dictionary definitions for tell (1 of 3)

tell

1
/ (tɛl) /

verb tells, telling or told

Derived Formstellable, adjective

Word Origin for tell

Old English tellan; related to Old Saxon tellian, Old High German zellen to tell, count, Old Norse telja

British Dictionary definitions for tell (2 of 3)

tell

2
/ (tɛl) /

noun

a large mound resulting from the accumulation of rubbish on a long-settled site, esp one with mudbrick buildings, particularly in the Middle East

Word Origin for tell

C19: from Arabic tall

British Dictionary definitions for tell (3 of 3)

Tell

/ (tɛl) /

noun

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
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

Idioms and Phrases with tell

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

also see:

  • 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.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.