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Crossword clues for tell

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
an instinct tells sb sth
▪ Every instinct told her that he was telling the truth.
ask/tell sb flat out
▪ She asked him flat out if he was seeing another woman.
can tell/see the difference (=can recognize how two things are different)
▪ I can’t really see the difference between these two colours.
common sense tells you/me etc sth
▪ Common sense tells me that I should get more sleep.
history shows/tells (that)
▪ History shows that the usual response to violent protests is repression.
omit to mention/say/tell etc
▪ Oliver omitted to mention that he was married.
pray tell
▪ And who, pray tell, is this?
show and tell
▪ Ramona brought in a fossil for show and tell.
tell a joke (=repeat a funny story)
▪ He was always telling jokes and making people laugh.
tell a tale
▪ He liked telling tales of his adventures in the wilderness.
tell fibs
▪ He’s been known to tell fibs.
tell (sb) a lie
▪ He got into trouble for telling a lie.
tell sb a secret
▪ Shall I tell you a secret?
tell (sb) a story
▪ Would you like me to tell you a story?
tell (sb) a story (also recount/relate a storyformal)
▪ I'd better tell you the whole story from the beginning.
▪ He laughed as he recounted the story.
tell sb the news
▪ Jack called him to tell him the good news.
tell sb the way
▪ Can you tell me the way to the nearest post office, please?
tell sb your view (also let sb have your view)
▪ We want you to tell us your views.
tell the police (also inform the policeformal)
▪ I think we should tell the police.
tell the press sth
▪ ‘It was a really tough decision,’ she told the press.
tell the truth
▪ It's better to tell the truth.
telling porkies
▪ Was he telling porkies again? story
▪ She insisted on telling me her whole life story.
▪ She tells one whopper after another.
the instructions say/tell you to do sth
▪ The instructions say that you should take the tablets after meals.
the legend tells how
▪ The legend tells how the King of Troy offended Poseidon, the sea god.
told...a few home truths
▪ It’s time someone told him a few home truths.
told...the facts of life
▪ Mum told me the facts of life when I was twelve.
▪ How often had he told me a lie is always sinful and bad in itself.
▪ But if there is no punishment, it is perfectly acceptable to tell lies.
▪ As he crossed the stile into the first field, Mungo felt a pang of shame at telling Alice a lie.
▪ In the process, it will inevitably begin to tell itself plausible lies.
▪ Why hadn't she told a white lie and claimed she had a licence?
▪ We can not tell a lie, so we confessed we were getting way too many.
▪ How much of what you get told is lies?
▪ For one thing, telling a lie is like eating peanuts.
▪ Then she hurried out to the kitchen to tell them all the news.
▪ I ran down the hill to the home of a classmate and told her the news.
▪ Baseball owners have been told that News Corp. alone was making the purchase.
▪ She squealed her agreement and raced into the house to tell her brother the news.
▪ I told the news desk they should send some one else, one of the junior reporters.
▪ Our spies tells us the news director pressed the suspended Epstein for video footage, which he adamantly refused to provide.
▪ Charity explained that she had decided not to tell Clarissa until the news about Charles was definite too.
▪ Sitting on a red vinyl padded stool at the breakfast bar, she told us the sad news.
▪ That's the story they tell anyway.
▪ There are other good stories to be told.
▪ Not Virgil, especially not the Aeneid, where he has no story worth telling, no sense of personality.
▪ A similar story was told by missions sent to study Mars.
▪ Then, story telling by the fire.
▪ As the story was told I was very gentle and self-effacing, and she was out to damage every-thing that she could.
▪ If Sister doesn't get a move on, they could always content themselves with the shortest children's story ever told.
▪ This might lead, in time, to duplication of some inexpensive books made from the stories people tell.
▪ Bigger waves undoubtedly occur, but those who witness them do not return to tell the tale.
▪ It is difficult now to tell which tales are real and which apocryphal.
▪ But here and there some found action on this very camp, and didn't live to tell the tale.
▪ That way, at least, they would live to tell the tale.
▪ Then I told about the tales the neighbours were telling about her Mum and her men friends.
▪ What could have led the President to tell such tales?
▪ All these are antisemitic texts, telling a tale of conspiracy only slightly more sophisticated than the Protocols.
▪ Edwin was long on charm but short on substance, was the feeling; he told tales a bit too deftly.
▪ You have got to find out whether B is telling the truth or not.
▪ Talk it over with her and let her tell you the truth.
▪ Should he dare to tell her the truth?
▪ Are the consequences of telling the truth too severe?
▪ To tell you the truth, I wasn't looking forward to it.
▪ Again the eyes looked at her sharply, and they saw she was telling the truth.
▪ That's all I have to tell you about how to tell the truth.
▪ To tell you the truth I was nervous going out there myself, too close to them ledges.
(I) tell a lie
▪ For one thing, telling a lie is like eating peanuts.
▪ However, telling lies to the police is assisting in the retention of stolen goods: Kanwar, above.
▪ No, I tell a lie.
▪ They fight viciously and tell lies to get each other into trouble.
▪ We can not tell a lie, so we confessed we were getting way too many.
(only) time will tell
▪ Only time will tell if this agreement will bring a lasting peace.
▪ BProbably, but time will tell.
▪ Only time will tell if this is a serious effort at improving both public sector accountability and overall performance.
▪ Only time will tell whether it can hold its place in this competitive field.
▪ That is the real test of leadership, and only time will tell.
▪ The expert answers by saying that the story is very important and only time will tell about the future.
▪ Whether that was worth the price of the fare, only time will tell.
▪ Whether the Order will continue to grow, only time will tell.
I don't mind admitting/telling you/saying etc
I hate to say it, but .../I hate to tell you this, but ...
I need hardly say/tell/remind etc
▪ Birds have never been one of my major interests, I need hardly say.
▪ How I welcomed Night Duty, I need hardly say.
▪ I need hardly say how heartily I sympathize with the purposes of the Audubon Society.
▪ I need hardly say that I don't care to have things so.
▪ I need hardly say that my wife's first impression of Lewis differed somewhat from my own.
▪ Mr Bawn, I need hardly tell you, is a man of considerable dignity and I would not leave him here.
▪ Type 4 I need hardly say how glad I am.
a little bird told me (sth)
all told
All told, 28 people died and 100 were wounded.
▪ Craig MacTavish retired last season as the last player to compete without a helmet-17 years all told.
▪ He couldn't have bled a great deal, perhaps a cupful all told.
▪ He said the doctors all told him the injury was going to happen anyway.
▪ It's all told in a bouncy rhyme, with outrageously funny pictures.
▪ It will take four to six years, all told.
▪ Our 12-day tour, Rome to Sicily, cost us each about $ 1, 500, all told.
▪ There were about twenty of us, all told; mostly McHoans but with a smattering of civilians.
▪ They take eighteen hours all told, including the overnight soaking.
as/so far as I know/I can remember/I can tell/I can see etc
can see/spot/tell sth a mile off
▪ But I think he's lovely, and you can tell a mile off that he likes you.
▪ He's a hawkeye, and can spot one a mile off, like that faraway kestrel.
▪ Our sportsdesk can spot from a mile off a person who can not tell an in-swinger from a bouncer.
don't know/can't tell etc which is which
if (the) truth be known/told
▪ After all, I am not so different from anyone else, if the truth be known.
▪ He could never, if the truth were told, stand against his wife.
▪ He looked lonely, if the truth were told.
▪ I bet they did it worse than us if the truth was known.
▪ I puzzle a lot, if the truth be known.
▪ I suppose if the truth was known, I was narked at being pushed around.
▪ Nearly thirteen and a half if the truth be known.
▪ You'd rather have a day out at York racecourse than at Headingley if truth were known, wouldn't you?
lose something in the translation/telling
▪ It probably loses something in the translation from the original Latin.
now you tell me!
say sth/tell sb sth to their face
tell sb flat
tell sb where to get off
▪ "Did you give him the money?" "No, I told him where to get off."
tell sb's fortune
tell tales
▪ "Mum, Daniel's broken a plate." "Don't tell tales, dear."
▪ According to the children, telling tales on each other was as bad as cheating.
▪ Daisy Venables, you naughty girl, have you been telling tales again?
▪ Edwin was long on charm but short on substance, was the feeling; he told tales a bit too deftly.
▪ I don't want to tell tales out of school.
▪ Nearly anyone who had been in an iron lung could tell tales of being stranded without breathing help.
▪ No child should be put in the powerful position of having to tell tales on another child.
▪ No one to tell tales, then.
▪ Of course, Albee is quite accustomed to telling tales about vicious people stuck in broken relationships.
tell that to the Marines
there is no telling
▪ This is a highly dangerous trend, because there is no telling where it will end.
to tell (you) the truth
▪ A bit like Mrs Riley, to tell the truth.
▪ But to tell the truth, for a long time I've been slightly lost as a dealer.
▪ Did people not trust me to tell the truth?
▪ He bathed a lot and never smelled even alive, to tell the truth.
▪ I don't know a great deal about flowers, to tell the truth.
▪ They must learn how to tell the truth and listen.
▪ We had a pretty good time I suppose, but to tell the truth I didn't feel like a party much.
▪ You want us to tell the truth?
▪ "Can you tell what this is with your eyes shut?" "It tastes of strawberry, but I'm not sure."
▪ "Wait here!" he told the children.
▪ "What colour was the car?" "I couldn't tell in the dark."
▪ A sign told us it was the highest village in England.
▪ At the moment, we can only tell the twins apart by looking at their name tags.
▪ Can you tell me how to log on to the Internet?
▪ Can you tell me the quickest way to the centre of town?
▪ Can you tell us where the nearest garage is?
▪ Come here Eva - let me tell you a secret.
▪ Do as you're told and go and wash your hands.
▪ Don't tell anyone about this just yet.
▪ Don't tell me how to behave in public!
▪ Have you told anyone about this?
▪ He didn't tell me where he got this information.
▪ His years in the army certainly tell in his attitude to his work.
▪ I'm telling you this in the strictest confidence, so not a word to anyone.
▪ I'm in charge here, and I'm not going to have anyone telling me what to do.
▪ I told him to go and see a doctor if he was worried.
▪ I find it really difficult to tell the difference between Frank and his brother.
▪ I thought I told you to be in bed by 10 o'clock!
▪ He told me about his time in the delta.
▪ I told him about my dream for a course there.
▪ I told Mrs Viney to leave our supper ready.
▪ Maybe, he's told, he's much more than a celebrity.
▪ Remember you promised me you would never tell anybody.
▪ Women are told it's prostitution or a beating, or death.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Tell \Tell\ (t[e^]l), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Told (t[=o]ld); p. pr. & vb. n. Telling.] [AS. tellan, from talu tale, number, speech; akin to D. tellen to count, G. z["a]hlen, OHG. zellen to count, tell, say, Icel. telja, Dan. tale to speak, t[ae]lle to count. See Tale that which is told.]

  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.

    And not a man appears to tell their fate.

  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?

  5. To order; to request; to command.

    He told her not to be frightened.

  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.

    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 \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.

    1. To speak of; to mention; to narrate or describe.

    2. 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 \Tell\, n. That which is told; tale; account. [R.]

I am at the end of my tell.


Tell \Tell\, n. [Ar.] A hill or mound.
--W. M. Thomson.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English tellan "to reckon, calculate, number, compute; consider, think, esteem, account" (past tense tealde, past participle teald), from Proto-Germanic *taljan "to mention in order" (cognates: Old Saxon tellian "tell," Old Norse telja "to count, number; to tell, say," Old Frisian tella "to count; to tell," Middle Dutch and Dutch tellen, Old Saxon talon "to count, reckon," Danish tale "to speak," Old High German zalon, German zählen "to count, reckon"), from PIE root *del- (2) "to count, reckon" (see tale).\n

\nMeaning "to narrate, announce, relate" in English is from c.1000; that of "to make known by speech or writing, announce" is from early 12c. Sense of "to reveal or disclose" is from c.1400; that of "to act as an informer, to 'peach' " is recorded from 1901. Meaning "to order (someone to do something)" is from 1590s. To tell (someone) off "reprimand" is from 1919.\n

\nOriginal sense in teller and phrase to tell time. For sense evolution, compare French conter "to count," raconter "to recount;" Italian contare, Spanish contar "to count, recount, narrate;" German zählen "to count," erzählen "to recount, narrate." Klein also compares Hebrew saphar "he counted," sipper "he told."


"mound, hill," 1864, from Arabic tall, related to Hebrew tel "mount, hill, heap." Compare Hebrew talul "lofty," Akkadian tillu "woman's breast."


Etymology 1 n. 1 A reflexive, often habitual behavior, (non-gloss definition: 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. 2 That which is told; tale; account. 3 (context internet English) A private message to an individual in a chat room; a whisper. vb. 1 (lb en transitive) To count, reckon, or enumerate. 2 (lb en transitive) To narrate. Etymology 2

n. (context archaeology English) A mound, originally in the Middle East, over or consisting of the ruins of ancient settlements.

  1. v. 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, recite]

  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" [syn: evidence]

  8. mark as different; "We distinguish several kinds of maple" [syn: distinguish, separate, differentiate, secern, secernate, severalize, severalise, tell apart]

  9. [also: told]

Tell (poker)

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. More often, people try to avoid giving out a tell, by maintaining a poker face regardless of how strong or weak their hand is.


A tell or tel, from , , , 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. The term is mainly used of sites in the Middle East, where it often forms part of the local place name.

Tell (disambiguation)

A tell is a type of archaeological site. Tell or tel can also refer to:

Tell (2012 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".

The production of this film has been the subject of many episodes of Film Riot, an internet television show hosted by Connolly. Many of the crew that worked on the film also feature in Film Riot, and the effects used in the film have been explained in detail as part of the programmes.

Tell (name)

Tell is both a given name and a surname. Notable people with the name include:

Given name:

  • Tell Berna (1891–1975), American long-distance runner and Olympic gold medalist
  • Tell Taylor (1876–1937), American songwriter


  • Christian Tell (1808–1884), Wallachian and Romanian politician
  • Christine Tell, Canadian politician
  • David Tell, American conservative political journalist
  • Olive Tell (1894–1951), American actress
  • William Tell, legendary Swiss hero
  • William Tell (musician) (born 1980), American rock musician
  • Zak Tell (born 1970), Swedish musician and lead singer
Tell (2014 film)

Tell is a 2014 crime thriller starring Katee Sackhoff, Jason Lee and Milo Ventimiglia. It is produced by Haven Entertainment, distributed by Orion Pictures, and was released on December 4.

Usage examples of "tell".

I interrupted Abey in the middle of his telling me how beautiful Cleveland was in the winter and went to call her.

I will not wear thy soul with words about my grief and sorrow: but it is to be told that I sat now in a perilous place, and yet I might not step down from it and abide in that land, for then it was a sure thing, that some of my foes would have laid hand on me and brought me to judgment for being but myself, and I should have ended miserably.

I have heard tell of thee: thou art abiding the turn of the days up at the castle yonder, as others have done before thee.

In fact, Abigail told me it was precisely because they had no money that her aunt and uncle in Washington refused to acknowledge them.

So they abode a little, and the more part of what talk there was came from the Lady, and she was chiefly asking Ralph of his home in Upmeads, and his brethren and kindred, and he told her all openly, and hid naught, while her voice ravished his very soul from him, and it seemed strange to him, that such an one should hold him in talk concerning these simple matters and familiar haps, and look on him so kindly and simply.

So Richard trotted on, and while they abode him, Ralph asked after his brethren, and Blaise told him that he had seen or heard naught of them.

Now this cheaping irked Ralph sorely, as was like to be, whereas, as hath been told, he came from a land where were no thralls, none but vavassors and good yeomen: yet he abode till all was done, hansel paid, and the thralls led off by their new masters.

The cooking, I can tell you, kept her nose to the pot, and even if there was nothing in it, even if there was no pot, she had to keep watching that it came aboil just the same.

The Tusk tells us that there is no greater abomination than the False Prophet.

He went to the management of the station and told them I was planning to abort calls.

Guard Captain arrived, he told me that I could either stay in jail all night and face trial in the morning or I could trust in the judgment of the gods by being in the front ranks of the defenders when Abraxas attacked that evening.

So I told him all about it, about my purse being returned to me and about Sean Metcalfe absconding and how I was certain almost that it was him.

In spite of what Frederick West may or may not have told his father-in-law about his dislike for the abuse of his daughter Anna-Marie, there is no doubt that both he and his wife independently sexually abused the twelve-year-old.

Miss A had almost certainly told Graham Letts that she had been abused by her father and her brother at the age of twelve, and she may well have told Rosemary West exactly the same thing during their conversations in Cromwell Street.

Behind that door was evidently the place of moneyed secrets and decisions, and Guil told himself that Aby had been right and this banking thing evidently did work.