Tell Definition

tĕl
telling, tells, told
verb
telling, tells, told
To give an account or description (of something)
Webster's New World
To express in words; utter; say.
To tell the truth.
Webster's New World
To give evidence or be an indication (of something)
Webster's New World
To carry tales; reveal secrets.
To kiss and tell.
Webster's New World
To report; announce; publish.
Webster's New World
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noun
tells
An unconscious movement, gesture, mannerism, etc., such as repeatedly checking one's cards or behaving nervously in some way, which unintentionally reveals information about one's hand to other players.
Webster's New World
Any behavior that unintentionally reveals one's unspoken thoughts or motivations.
Webster's New World
Esp. in the Middle East, a large mound or hill, built up gradually, covering the successive remains of ancient communities.
Webster's New World
A reflexive, often habitual behavior, especially one occurring in a context that often features attempts at deception by persons under psychological stress (such as a poker game or police interrogation), that reveals information that the person exhibiting the behavior is attempting to withhold.
Wiktionary
That which is told; tale; account.
Wiktionary
Synonyms:
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idiom
tell time
  • To determine the time of day indicated by the positions of the hands on a clock.
American Heritage
do tell!
  • is that a fact?
Webster's New World
tell off
  • to count (persons, etc.) and separate them from the total number
  • to rebuke severely
Webster's New World
tell on
  • to have a marked, usually adverse, effect on
  • to inform against or gossip about
Webster's New World

Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Tell

Origin of Tell

  • From Middle English tellen (“to count, tell"), from Old English tellan (“to count, tell"), from Proto-Germanic *taljanÄ…, *talzijanÄ… (“to count, enumerate"), from Proto-Germanic *talÄ…, *talÇ­ (“number, counting"), from Proto-Indo-European *dol- (“calculation, fraud"). Cognate with English tally (“to count"), West Frisian telle (“to count"), West Frisian fertelle (“to tell, narrate"), Dutch tellen (“to count"), Low German tellen (“to count") and förtellen (“to tell, narrate"), Old High German zellen (German zählen, “to count"), German erzählen (“to tell, recount"), Old Norse telja (Faroese telja, “to count, tell"). More at tale.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English tellen from Old English tellan del-2 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Arabic تل (tall, “hill, elevation"), from Proto-Semitic *tall- (“hill").

    From Wiktionary

  • Arabic tall tll in Semitic roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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