having force or effect; effective; striking: a telling blow.
revealing; indicative of much otherwise unnoticed: a telling analysis of motivation in business.

Origin of telling

First recorded in 1850–55; tell1 + -ing2
Related formstell·ing·ly, adverbun·tell·ing, adjective

Synonyms for telling Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tellingly

Contemporary Examples of tellingly

Historical Examples of tellingly

  • Readers of his journals and correspondence know how vividly and tellingly he can relate an experience or touch off a character.

    Life of John Keats

    Sidney Colvin

  • These are tellingly related in that classic volume, "Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada."

    Your National Parks

    Enos A. Mills

  • The slogan, heard so tellingly at Lucknow, is swelling up the glaciers of the Asiatic fatherland to save it from the Scythians!

  • But Gilian, as he went, busied himself on how he should convey most tellingly the story he brought down the glen.

  • Here is where the influence of every fair-minded woman and patriotic man can be tellingly exerted.

British Dictionary definitions for tellingly



having a marked effect or impacta telling blow
revealinga telling smile
Derived Formstellingly, adverb
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