What does tell mean?

Definitions for tell

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word tell.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Tell, William Tellverb

    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, tellverb

    express in words

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

  3. tellverb

    let something be known

    "Tell them that you will be late"

  4. tell, narrate, recount, reciteverb

    narrate or give a detailed account of

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

  5. order, tell, enjoin, sayverb

    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. tellverb

    discern or comprehend

    "He could tell that she was unhappy"

  7. assure, tellverb

    inform positively and with certainty and confidence

    "I tell you that man is a crook!"

  8. tell, evidenceverb

    give evidence

    "he was telling on all his former colleague"

  9. distinguish, separate, differentiate, secern, secernate, severalize, severalise, tell, tell apartverb

    mark as different

    "We distinguish several kinds of maple"

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tellverb

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

  2. Tellverb

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

  3. Tellverb

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

  4. Tellverb

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

  5. Tellverb

    to order; to request; to command

  6. Tellverb

    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. Tellverb

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

  8. Tellverb

    to give an account; to make report

  9. Tellverb

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

  10. Tellnoun

    that which is told; tale; account

  11. Tellnoun

    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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tell

    tel, v.t. to number or give an account of: to utter: to narrate: to disclose: to inform: to discern: to explain.—v.i. to give an account: to produce or take effect: to chat, gossip: to tell tales, play the informer:—pa.t. and pa.p. tōld.—adj. Tell′able, capable of being told.—ns. Tell′er, one who tells or counts: a clerk whose duty it is to receive and pay money; Tell′ership, the office of a teller.—p.adj. Tell′ing, having great effect.—adv. Tell′ingly, in a telling or effective manner.—n. Tell′-tale, one who tells tales: one who officiously tells the private concerns of others: an indication or an indicator, as an automatic instrument: a bird of genus Totanus, a tattler.—adj. given to reveal secrets, blabbing: apparent, openly seen: giving warning.—Tell off, to count off: to detach on some special duty. [A.S. tellan; Ice. telja, Ger. zählen, to number.]

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.

Suggested Resources

  1. TELL

    What does TELL stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the TELL acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

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

How to pronounce tell?

How to say tell in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tell in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tell in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of tell in a Sentence

  1. The Sun:

    Mr Hancock cannot now hope to put on a straight face and tell us how to behave and seriously expect us to listen, there is the rank stench of hypocrisy.

  2. Katie Meade:

    I can tell everybody that people with disabilities can have abilities like I do, and I'm blessed to be part of this.

  3. Candidate Trump , by contrast:

    I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that Russian President Vladimir Putin was extremely strong and powerful in Russian President Vladimir Putin denial today.

  4. Doug Fierberg:

    (Universities) won't give you the full information because it will confirm that what you believe is right, of course you have a zero tolerance policy. (Hazing is) illegal. ... But why wouldn't you tell parents it's still going on?

  5. Arthur Caplan:

    I think it would be useful to have a crowdfunding requirement that says if you crowdsource here, we're going to tell you the outcome of what happened -- that you should fill that in at the end, that you have a responsibility. People gave you money to tell them what happened.

Images & Illustrations of tell

  1. telltelltelltelltell

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Translations for tell

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