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tell

tell

 
 
pronunciation:
tel
features:
Note, Word Explorer
part of speech: verb
inflections: tells, telling, told
definition 1: to express in spoken or written words.
She had told this story to her child many times, but he still loved it.
synonyms:
relate
similar words:
announce, bid, communicate, express, narrate, repeat, report, speak, spin, write
definition 2: to provide with information.
He told me about the accident.
synonyms:
enlighten, inform
similar words:
acquaint, advise, announce, communicate, notify
definition 3: to make known.
He'll never tell the secret.
synonyms:
disclose, reveal, spill
similar words:
give away, leak, repeat, report
definition 4: to command.
Please tell the children to behave.
synonyms:
command, demand, direct, instruct, order
similar words:
bid, charge, dictate, require
definition 5: to recognize; distinguish.
He can't tell the difference between my brother and me.
synonyms:
distinguish
similar words:
discriminate, know
definition 6: to give proof of.
Her success tells of her hard work.
definition 7: to reveal a secret or private matter.
I know the answer, but I won't tell.
synonyms:
confide
similar words:
confess, inform, leak, rat
tell or say?
Say is used to report the words that someone spoke. Tell is used to report an act of communication between people. The emphasis with say is on words. The emphasis with tell is on both the person who receives a message and the message itself.
Compare:
  • She said that she was sick
  • She told me that she was sick.
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  communication, literature