(noun, verb)


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)

Definition categories: person


1. express in words

- tell me what is bothering you

Similar word(s): say, state

Definition categories: communication, express, utter, verbalise, verbalize

2. let something be known

- Tell them that you will be late

Definition categories: communication, inform

3. narrate or give a detailed account of

- Tell what happened

Similar word(s): narrate, recite, recount

Definition categories: communication, inform

4. give instructions to or direct somebody to do something with authority

Similar word(s): enjoin, order, say

Definition categories: communication, request

5. discern or comprehend

- He could tell that she was unhappy

Definition categories: cognition, guess, infer

6. inform positively and with certainty and confidence

- I tell you that man is a crook!

Similar word(s): assure

Definition categories: communication, affirm, assert, aver, avow, swan, swear, verify

7. give evidence

- he was telling on all his former colleague

Similar word(s): evidence

Definition categories: communication, inform

8. mark as different

Similar word(s): differentiate, distinguish, secern, secernate, separate, severalise, severalize

Definition categories: cognition, identify, place

Sentences with tell as a verb:

- All told, there were over a dozen.  Can you tell time on a clock?  He had untold wealth.

- I want to tell a story;  I want to tell you a story.

- Finally, someone told him the truth.  He seems to like to tell lies.

- Please tell me how to do it.

- Tell him to go away.

- Can you tell whether those flowers are real or silk, from this distance?  No, there's no way to tell.

- Time will tell what became of him.

- Sir Gerald was moving slower; his wounds were beginning to tell.