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: producing a strong or important effect

: giving information about someone or something without intending to

Full Definition of TELLING

:  carrying great weight and producing a marked effect :  effective, expressive <the most telling evidence>
tell·ing·ly \-liŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of TELLING

  1. Her experience is a telling example of why the nation's educational system needs to be changed.
  2. The most telling moment in the case was when the victim took the stand.

First Known Use of TELLING


Synonym Discussion of TELLING

valid, sound, cogent, convincing, telling mean having such force as to compel serious attention and usually acceptance. valid implies being supported by objective truth or generally accepted authority <a valid reason for being absent> <a valid marriage>. sound implies a basis of flawless reasoning or of solid grounds <a sound proposal for reviving the economy>. cogent may stress either weight of sound argument and evidence or lucidity of presentation <the prosecutor's cogent summation won over the jury>. convincing suggests a power to overcome doubt, opposition, or reluctance to accept <a convincing argument for welfare reform>. telling stresses an immediate and crucial effect striking at the heart of a matter <a telling example of bureaucratic waste>.

Rhymes with TELLING


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