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Tell

Tell appears in the following tongue twisters:

  • If a fella met a fella in a field of fitches
    Can a fella tell a fella where a fella itches?
  • Tell a tall tale of a tall tailed dog, that told Tim it tap a tall ale and thump the top of Tim's tomb.

Tell appears in many palindromes (phrases that read the same backward as forward):

  • tell a ballet
  • We'll let Dad tell Lew.
  • We'll let Mom tell Lew.
View more palindromes!

Tell is sometimes a misspelling of till.

The word tell is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

Video footage: Two pretty young girls and two young men tell jokes and laugh while walking in the street. Steadicam shot, slow mo
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Definition of the noun tell

What does tell mean as a name of something?

noun - plural:

  • tell: tells
  • Tell: -

  1. 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)
    • lexical domain: People - nouns denoting people
    • synonym of Tell: William Tell
    • instance of: archer / bowman = a person who is expert in the use of a bow and arrow

Alternative definition of the noun tell

noun

  1. A reflexive, often habitual behavior, esp. one occurring in a context that often features attempts at deception by persons under psychological stress (e.g., a poker game or police interrogation), that reveals (gives away) information that the person exhibiting the behavior is attempting to withhold.
  2. [archaeology] A mound, originally in the Middle East, over or consisting of the ruins of ancient settlements.

Definition of the verb tell

What does tell mean as a doing word?

Tell is one of the top 50 most common verbs in the English language.View more statistics!

verb - inflections:

simple pastpast participlepresent participlethird-person singular
toldtoldtellingtells

  1. express in words
    • examples: tell me what is bothering you | They tell that there was a traffic accident
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formulaVerbs with the same syntax
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient]Ellen told HelenVerb of Communication
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic]Ellen told Helen a story | Ellen told me, 'Leave the room.' | Heather cabled Sara the news
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic, object control with infinitive]Ellen told Helen to come
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic, that-complement clause]Ellen told Helen that the party would be tonight
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic, wh-infinitive clause]Ellen told Helen how to avoid the crowd
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] about [Topic]Ellen told Helen about the situation | Heather cabled Sara about the situation
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] of [Topic, not sentential clause]John informed me of the situation
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic]Ellen told a story | Heather cabled the news | Heather cabled, 'Come immediately.' | Susan whispered the news/a few words
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic] to [Recipient]Ellen told a story to Helen | Heather cabled the news to Sara
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb]I explainedVerbs of Communication: show, teach, write
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient]Wanda taught the students
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic, how-extraction]He asked him how he came | She told him how he did it
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic, object control with infinitive]Wanda asked me to present a new proposal
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic, that-complement clause]John informed me that his situation had changed | She told him that he should not go
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic, what-extraction]I asked him what he was doing | She told him what she was doing
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic, what-infinitive clause]He asked him what to do | She told him what to do
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic, not sentential clause]Wanda taught the students French
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] about [Topic, arbitrary control with -ing]Wanda told me about climbing the mountain
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, how-extraction]He confessed how she did it | I asked how she did it | I explained how it can be done | John suggested how she could do it
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, wh-infinitive clause]I asked how to do it | I explained how to do it | John suggested how to do it
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, what-extraction]He asked what he should do | I explained what he should do | John suggested what we should eat
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, what-infinitive clause]He asked what to do | I explained what to do | John suggested what to do
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, not sentential clause]I explained the matter
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, not sentential clause] to [Recipient]I explained the matter to them | They confessed it to us
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] from [Source]I explained from Simone de Beauvoir's essay on the Marquis de Sade
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] to [Recipient] [Topic, how-extraction]I explained to her how it can be done | They confessed to us how it happened
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] to [Recipient] [Topic, wh-infinitive clause]I explained to her how to do it
    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • synonyms of tell: say / state
    • more generic terms: express / give tongue to / utter / verbalise / verbalize = articulate
    • more specific terms:
  2. let something be known
  3. narrate or give a detailed account of
    • examples: Tell what happened | They won't tell the story
    • syntax: the same syntax as for the sense 1
    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • synonyms of tell: narrate / recite / recount
    • more generic word: inform = impart knowledge of some fact, state of affairs, or event to
    • more specific words:
  4. give instructions to or direct somebody to do something with authority
    • example: They tell him to write the letter
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient]Ellen told Helen
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic]Ellen told Helen a story | Ellen told me, 'Leave the room.' | Heather cabled Sara the news
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic, object control with infinitive]Ellen told Helen to come
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic, that-complement clause]Ellen told Helen that the party would be tonight
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Topic, wh-infinitive clause]Ellen told Helen how to avoid the crowd
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] about [Topic]Ellen told Helen about the situation | Heather cabled Sara about the situation
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] of [Topic, not sentential clause]John informed me of the situation
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic]Ellen told a story | Heather cabled the news | Heather cabled, 'Come immediately.' | Susan whispered the news/a few words
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic] to [Recipient]Ellen told a story to Helen | Heather cabled the news to Sara
    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • synonyms of tell: enjoin / order / say
    • more generic terms: hit up / request = ask (a person) to do something
    • more specific terms:
      • direct = command with authority
      • instruct = give instructions or directions for some task
      • command / require = make someone do something
      • send for / call = order, request, or command to come
      • warn = ask to go away
      • prescribe = order the use of (a treatment, medicine, etc.), usually by written prescription
  5. discern or comprehend
    • example: He could tell that she was unhappy
    • lexical domain: Cognition - verbs of thinking, judging, analyzing, doubting
    • more generic words: guess / infer = guess correctly
  6. inform positively and with certainty and confidence
    • example: I tell you that man is a crook!
    • syntax: the same syntax as for the sense 4
    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • synonym of tell: assure
    • more generic words: affirm / assert / aver / avow / swan / swear / verify = to declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true
  7. give evidence
    • example: he was telling on all his former colleague
    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • synonym of tell: evidence
    • more generic word: inform = act as an informer
  8. mark as different

Alternative definition of the verb tell

verb

  1. [rare or archaic] To count or enumerate.
  2. [transitive] To narrate.
  3. [transitive] To convey by speech; to say.
  4. [transitive] To instruct or inform.
  5. [transitive] To order; to direct.
  6. [transitive] To discern, notice, identify or distinguish.
  7. [transitive] To reveal.
  8. [intransitive] To be revealed.
  9. [intransitive] to be apparent, to be demonstrated.

Film

"Tell" is a 2012 short psychological horror film written, directed, and edited by Ryan Connolly. It is loosely based on the Edgar Allan Poe short story "The Tell-Tale Heart".

Music

  1. "Tell" is a composition.
  2. "Tell" is a musical album of Myriad3.
    • released on
  3. "Tell" is a musical album of WinterSweet.

Places

  1. Tell is an unincorporated community in southwestern Childress County, Texas, United States, to the southwest of the city of Childress, the county seat of Childress County. Its elevation is 1,903 feet. Although it is unincorporated, it has a post office, with the ZIP code of 79259.
  2. Tell a.k.a. Tell, Nablus: Tell is a Palestinian town in the Nablus Governorate in northern West Bank, located five kilometers southwest of Nablus. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of 4,334 inhabitants in 2007. Most of the town's potential labor work in agriculture, with figs and olives being the major source of income.
  3. Tell a.k.a. Tell, Wisconsin: Tell is an unincorporated community located in the town of Alma, in Buffalo County, Wisconsin, United States. Tell is located on Wisconsin Highway 37 4.5 miles northeast of Alma.

There are other places with in their name, like Et-Tell, Tell City, Tell Abyad, Tell Rifaat, Tell Zeidan, Tell Hassuna and Don't tell mama.

Miscellanea

  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.
  2. Tell: A tell in poker is a change in a player's behavior or demeanor that is claimed by some to give clues to that player's assessment of their hand. A player gains an advantage if they observe and understand the meaning of another player's tell, particularly if the tell is unconscious and reliable. Sometimes a player may fake a tell, hoping to induce their opponents to make poor judgments in response to the false tell.
  3. Tell is a family name.

Phrases with Tell

Phrases starting with the word Tell:

  1. tell on
  2. tell all
  3. tell off
  4. Tell-All
  5. tell apart
  6. Tell Tales
  7. Tell El-Amarna
  8. Tell the Truth
  9. Tell Me About It

Phrases ending with the word Tell:

  1. Pray tell
  2. william tell
  3. Kiss and Tell
  4. Kiss-and-Tell
  5. Show and Tell
  6. Time Will Tell

Other phrases containing the word Tell:

  1. to tell on
  2. to tell off
  3. I Tell a Lie
  4. Can You Tell Us
  5. To Tell the Truth

View more phrases with the word Tell in thesaurus!

Printed books with definitions for Tell

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewTop Sellers Tell... (2006)

by Moehr & Associates

Top Sellers Tell is an insightful and candid look into the world of some of the top direct sales professionals in the U.S. and Canada.

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Tell

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Usage statistics about tell

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Usage statistics for the verb Tell:

spoken English61.84%written English38.16% conversational speech64.19%task-oriented speech35.81% imaginative writing80.02%informational writing19.98%

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb Tell:

narrateenjoinevidencereciterecountdifferentiateassuredistinguishseparateorderstatetellsay

Photos about Tell

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tell

View more pictures about Tell Her, Tell Him, William Tell, Kiss and Tell, and Tell Yourself.

If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of just tell as a crowSmall photo of Hand with megaphone, Hand with loudspeaker, with words TELL US YOUR STORYSmall photo of Tell Us Your Story. Hand with megaphone / loudspeaker. Business concept.Small photo of Close up of old typewriter covered with dust with tell us your story textSmall photo of Children of school age tell each other their secrets, on the streetSmall photo of Tell Us Your Story card isolated on white backgroundSmall photo of Children of school age tell each other their secrets More...

Videos about Tell

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View more videos about tell off, Pray tell, Wilhelm Tell, Kiss and Tell, Show and Tell, and Tell the Truth.

See also the pronunciation examples of Tell!

Sign language

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Quotes about Tell

Tell me you love me,
Tell me you don't hate me,
Tell me it's okay,
Tell me I'm special,
Tell me you won't hurt me,
Tell me they'll go away,
Tell me,
You actually love me. (Dragon Crenshaw)
more quotes about tell...

Scrabble value of T1E1L1L1

The value of this 4-letter word is 4 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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