Tell v. t. [imp. & p. p. Told p. pr. & vb. n. Telling.]
1. To mention one by one, or piece by piece; to recount; to enumerate; to reckon; to number; to count; as, to tell money. “An heap of coin he told.”
He telleth the number of the stars. --Ps. cxlvii. 4.
Tell the joints of the body. --Jer. Taylor.
2. To utter or recite in detail; to give an account of; to narrate.
Of which I shall tell all the array. --Chaucer.
And not a man appears to tell their fate. --Pope.
3. To make known; to publish; to disclose; to divulge.
Why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? --Gen. xii. 18.
4. To give instruction to; to make report to; to acquaint; to teach; to inform.
A secret pilgrimage,
That you to-day promised to tell me of? --Shak.
5. To order; to request; to command.
He told her not to be frightened. --Dickens.
6. 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. To make account of; to regard; to reckon; to value; to estimate. [Obs.]
I ne told no dainity of her love. --Chaucer.
Note: ☞ Tell, though equivalent in some respect to speak and say, has not always the same application. We say, to tell truth or falsehood, to tell a number, to tell the reasons, to tell something or nothing; but we never say, to tell a speech, discourse, or oration, or to tell an argument or a lesson. It is much used in commands; as, tell me the whole story; tell me all you know.
To tell off, to count; to divide. --Sir W. Scott.
Syn: -- To communicate; impart; reveal; disclose; inform; acquaint; report; repeat; rehearse; recite.
Tell, v. i.
1. To give an account; to make report.
That I may publish with the voice of thankgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. --Ps. xxvi. 7.
2. To take effect; to produce a marked effect; as, every shot tells; every expression tells.
To tell of. (a) To speak of; to mention; to narrate or describe. (b) To inform against; to disclose some fault of.
To tell on, to inform against. [Archaic & Colloq.]
Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David. --1 Sam. xxvii. 11.
Tell, n. That which is told; tale; account. [R.]
I am at the end of my tell. --Walpole.
Tell, n. A hill or mound.
n : 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) [syn: William Tell]
v 1: express in words; "He said that he wanted to marry her";
"tell me what is bothering you"; "state your opinion";
"state your name" [syn: state, say]
2: let something be known; "Tell them that you will be late"
3: narrate or give a detailed account of; "Tell what happened";
"The father told a story to his child" [syn: narrate, recount,
4: 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" [syn: order, enjoin, say]
5: discern or comprehend; "He could tell that she was unhappy"
6: inform positively and with certainty and confidence; "I tell
you that man is a crook!" [syn: assure]
7: give evidence; "he was telling on all his former colleague"
8: mark as different; "We distinguish several kinds of maple"
[syn: distinguish, separate, differentiate, secern,
secernate, severalize, severalise, tell apart]