telltale definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- a person who tells secrets or informs; talebearer; tattler
- an outward indication of something secret
- any of various devices for indicating or recording information; indicator; specif.,
- ☆ a row of dangling ropes, etc. hung over a railroad track to warn trainmen, riding on top of a car, of an approaching low bridge, tunnel, etc.
- a device indicating the position of a ship's rudder
- a time clock
- a gauge on a pipe organ showing the air pressure
revealing or indicating that which is hidden or meant to be secret: the telltale smell of alcohol on his breath
telltale definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- One who informs on another; a talebearer.
- Something that indicates or reveals information; a sign.
- Any of various devices that indicate or register information, especially:a. A time clock.b. Nautical One of the brightly colored lengths of yarn or ribbon attached to the shrouds, stays, or sails of a sailboat, serving to indicate wind direction relative to the boat's motion.c. A row of strips hung above a railroad track to warn a passing train of low clearance ahead.
- Sports A resonant metal strip, 24 or 30 inches (61 or 76 centimeters) high, across the bottom of the front wall of a racquets or squash court above which the ball must be hit.