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tell Idioms & Phrases

All told

  • adverb with everything included or counted
    in all; altogether.
    • altogether he earns close to a million dollars
  • all counted; in all.
Webster 1913

Fortune telling

  • noun the art or gift of prophecy (or the pretense of prophecy) by supernatural means
    divination; foretelling; soothsaying.
  • the practice or art of professing to reveal future events in the life of another.
Webster 1913


Sto"ry-tell`ing adjective
  1. Being accustomed to tell stories. -- n. The act or practice of telling stories.
Webster 1913

tell apart

  • verb detect with the senses
    recognize; spot; make out; recognise; distinguish; pick out; discern.
    • The fleeing convicts were picked out of the darkness by the watchful prison guards
    • I can't make out the faces in this photograph
  • verb mark as different
    secernate; severalise; separate; severalize; differentiate; distinguish; tell; secern.
    • We distinguish several kinds of maple

tell off

  • verb reprimand
    brush down.
    • She told the misbehaving student off

tell on

  • verb give away information about somebody
    shop; give away; denounce; stag; rat; betray; snitch; grass; shit.
    • He told on his classmate who had cheated on the exam
  • verb produce an effect or strain on somebody
    • Each step told on his tired legs

To tell no store of

  • to make no account of; to consider of no importance.
Webster 1913

To tell of

  • . (a) To speak of; to mention; to narrate or describe. (b) To inform against; to disclose some fault of.
Webster 1913

To tell off

  • to count; to divide. Sir W. Scott.
  • (Mil.), to divide and practice a regiment or company in the several formations, preparatory to marching to the general parade for field exercises. Farrow. (b) to criticise
Webster 1913

To tell on

  • to inform against. Archaic & Colloq.
Webster 1913

To tell tale of

  • to make account of. Obs.
Webster 1913

william tell

  • noun 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)