Webster 1913 Edition
imp. & p. p.
p. pr. & vb. n.
talutale, number, speech; akin to D.
tellento count, G.
zellento count, tell, say, Icel.
tælleto count. See
Talethat which is told.]
To mention one by one, or piece by piece; to recount; to enumerate; to reckon; to number; to count;“An heap of coin he told.”
telleththe number of the stars.
Ps. cxlvii. 4.
Tellthe joints of the body.
To utter or recite in detail; to give an account of; to narrate.
Of which I shall
tellall the array.
And not a man appears to
To make known; to publish; to disclose; to divulge.
Why didst thou not
tellme that she was thy wife?
Gen. xii. 18.
To give instruction to; to make report to; to acquaint; to teach; to inform.
A secret pilgrimage,
That you to-day promised to
That you to-day promised to
To order; to request; to command.
toldher not to be frightened.
To discern so as to report; to ascertain by observing; to find out; to discover;
as, I can not.
tellwhere one color ends and the other begins
To make account of; to regard; to reckon; to value; to estimate.
toldno dainity of her love.
☞ 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;
tellme the whole story;
tellme 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.
To give an account; to make report.
That I may publish with the voice of thankgiving, and
tellof all thy wondrous works.
Ps. xxvi. 7.
To take effect; to produce a marked effect;
as, every shot.
tells; every expression
To tell of.
To speak of; to mention; to narrate or describe.
To inform against; to disclose some fault of.–
To tell on,
to inform against.
[Archaic & Colloq.]
Lest they should
tell onus, saying, So did David.
1 Sam. xxvii. 11.
That which is told; tale; account.
I am at the end of my
A hill or mound.
W. M. Thomson.
Webster 1828 Edition
1.To utter; to express in words; to communicate to others.
I will not eat till I have told my errand. Gen.24.
2.To relate; to narrate; to rehearse particulars; as, to tell a story. Gen.37.
And not a man appears to tell their fate.
3.To teach; to inform; to make known; to show by words. Tell us the way.
Why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? Gen.12.
4.To discover; to disclose; to betray.
They will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. Num.14.
5.To count; to number.
Look now towards heaven, and tell the stars. Gen.15.
6.To relate in confession; to confess or acknowledge.
Tell me now what thou hast done. Josh.7.
Tell it not in Gath. 2 Sam.1.
8.To unfold; to interpret; to explain. Ezek.24.
9.To make excuses.
Tush, never tell me. [Not elegant.]
10. To make known.
Our feelings tell us how long they ought to have submitted.
11. To discover; to find; to discern. The colors are so blended that I cannot tell where one ends and the other begins.
Tell, though equivalent in some respects to speak and say, has not always the same application. We say, to tell this, that or what, to tell a story, to tell a word, 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. Tell me the whole story; tell me all you know, or all that was said. Tell has frequently the sense of narrate; which speak and say have not.
--That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. Ps.36.
To tell of
To tell on - to inform. You must not disobey; I will tell of you if you do. This is a common popular use of the word. To tell on, is quite vulgar as well as improper.