Definitions for telltɛl

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word tell

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

telltɛl(v.)told, tell•ing.

  1. (v.t.)to narrate or relate (a story, tale, etc.).

  2. to make known (a fact, news, information, etc.); communicate.

  3. to announce or proclaim.

  4. to utter (the truth, a lie, etc.); speak.

  5. to express in words (thoughts, feelings, etc.).

  6. to reveal or divulge (something secret or private).

  7. to say positively:

    I can't tell just when I'll be done.

  8. to discern or recognize; identify:

    to tell twins apart.

  9. to inform (a person) of something:

    He told me his name.

  10. to order or command:

    Tell her to stop.

  11. to enumerate; count.

  12. (v.i.)to give an account or report.

  13. to give evidence; be an indication.

  14. to disclose something secret or private:

    Will you hate me if I tell?

  15. to say positively; determine or predict:

    It may be the same shade, but I can't tell.

  16. to produce a marked effect.

  17. tell off, to rebuke severely; scold.

    Category: Verb Phrase, Informal

  18. tell on, to tattle on.

    Category: Verb Phrase

Idioms for tell:

  1. tell it like it is,Informal. to be blunt and forthright.

    Category: Idiom

Origin of tell:

bef. 900; ME tellen, OE tellan to relate, count, c. OFris talia, tella, OS tellian, OHG zellen, ON telja; akin to tale


  1. 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).

    Category: Archaeology

Origin of tell:

1860–65; < Ar tall hillock


  1. William,

    Category: Mythology

    Ref: William Tell.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Tell, William Tell(verb)

    a Swiss patriot who lived in the early 14th century and who was renowned for his skill as an archer; according to legend an Austrian governor compelled him to shoot an apple from his son's head with his crossbow (which he did successfully without mishap)

  2. state, say, tell(verb)

    express in words

    "He said that he wanted to marry her"; "tell me what is bothering you"; "state your opinion"; "state your name"

  3. tell(verb)

    let something be known

    "Tell them that you will be late"

  4. tell, narrate, recount, recite(verb)

    narrate or give a detailed account of

    "Tell what happened"; "The father told a story to his child"

  5. order, tell, enjoin, say(verb)

    give instructions to or direct somebody to do something with authority

    "I said to him to go home"; "She ordered him to do the shopping"; "The mother told the child to get dressed"

  6. tell(verb)

    discern or comprehend

    "He could tell that she was unhappy"

  7. assure, tell(verb)

    inform positively and with certainty and confidence

    "I tell you that man is a crook!"

  8. tell, evidence(verb)

    give evidence

    "he was telling on all his former colleague"

  9. distinguish, separate, differentiate, secern, secernate, severalize, severalise, tell, tell apart(verb)

    mark as different

    "We distinguish several kinds of maple"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. tell(verb)ɛl

    to give information to sb by speaking to them

    Have you told her the truth yet?; Tell me how much money you need.; I told them (that) I was happy.; I won't tell anyone else about it.

  2. tellɛl

    to reveal information or indicate sth

    Her scores tell us she's an above average student.; Dark skies told us a storm was coming.

  3. tellɛl

    to say the words of a story or joke

    Mom always tells us a story at bedtime.

  4. tellɛl

    to give an instruction or order

    Do what your mother tells you.; Don't tell me what to do.

  5. tellɛl

    to be able to recognize or identify sth

    I could tell she was about to cry.; To me it's impossible to tell one impressionist artist from another.; How do you tell which twin is Joe and which is Dan?

  6. tellɛl

    to affect sb or sth

    The years in the mines were beginning to tell.

  7. tellɛl

    used to say that what you told sb before was correct

    I told you, it's tomorrow, not today.

  8. tellɛl

    indicates you have a suggestion to make

    Tell you what, let's get some ice cream instead.

  9. tellɛl

    indicates you suspect that sth is true or is going to happen

    Something tells me we'll never get that money back.

  10. tellɛl

    indicates you are also experiencing sth bad sb has just mentioned

    "I have way too much work to do." "Tell me about it."

  11. tellɛl

    to be able to understand what a clock or watch shows

    They're learning to tell time.

  12. tellɛl

    tell time

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tell(verb)

    to mention one by one, or piece by piece; to recount; to enumerate; to reckon; to number; to count; as, to tell money

  2. Tell(verb)

    to utter or recite in detail; to give an account of; to narrate

  3. Tell(verb)

    to make known; to publish; to disclose; to divulge

  4. Tell(verb)

    to give instruction to; to make report to; to acquaint; to teach; to inform

  5. Tell(verb)

    to order; to request; to command

  6. Tell(verb)

    to discern so as to report; to ascertain by observing; to find out; to discover; as, I can not tell where one color ends and the other begins

  7. Tell(verb)

    to make account of; to regard; to reckon; to value; to estimate

  8. Tell(verb)

    to give an account; to make report

  9. Tell(verb)

    to take effect; to produce a marked effect; as, every shot tells; every expression tells

  10. Tell(noun)

    that which is told; tale; account

  11. Tell(noun)

    a hill or mound


  1. Tell

    A tell or tel, is a type of archaeological mound created by human occupation and abandonment of a geographical site over many centuries. A classic tell looks like a low, truncated cone with a flat top and sloping sides.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Tell

    a fertile strip of land of 47 m. of average breadth in North-West Africa, between the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea; produces cereals, wine, &c.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'tell' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #331

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'tell' in Written Corpus Frequency: #178

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'tell' in Verbs Frequency: #24

Translations for tell

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


to inform or give information to (a person) about (something)

He told the whole story to John; He told John about it.

Get even more translations for tell »


Find a translation for the tell definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these tell definitions with the community:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"tell." STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for tell?

The Web's Largest Resource for

Definitions & Translations

A Member Of The STANDS4 Network

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for tell: