tat·​tle·​tale ˈta-tᵊl-ˌtāl How to pronounce tattletale (audio)
chiefly US, informal
: someone (such as a child) who tells secrets about what someone else has done : one who tattles : informer

Examples of tattletale in a Sentence

don't be such a tattletale and tell me about every little thing your sister does
Recent Examples on the Web The two of them, as though after a party, would have stood at the sink cleaning dishes and wondering which among the attendees was the traitor, the tattletale. Hazlitt, 26 July 2023 We’re basically guaranteed to see that thing where one person tells Zach that another person is there for the wrong reasons, but then the tattletale winds up consumed by their own vendetta and self-sabotages. Andrea Marks, Rolling Stone, 23 Jan. 2023 One errant tweet, one mistimed joke, one honest opinion overheard by an oversensitive busybody with the shrunken soul of a schoolyard tattletale, and a person’s job can be lost and his reputation destroyed. James E. Person Jr., National Review, 17 Sep. 2020 Deciding to become a whistleblower requires some hefty thinking, trying to balance a personal sense of ethical codes versus the potential for being known as an informer or tattletale. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 23 June 2021 The odds are that once self-driving cars become prevalent, the general public will wise up that self-driving cars have this intrinsic capability of being a tattletale. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 12 June 2021 The boy was branded as a tattletale for reporting what had happened to him and became the target of fierce bullying at school. Emma Brown, Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2021 Kaila White, 29, also of Phoenix, was a good student and a tattletale while growing up. Michelle Rogers, USA TODAY, 8 Apr. 2020 Was this really all in my head? *** Some families might demonize liars, or tattletales, or people who fall down on some other moral imperative. Alyson Pomerantz, Longreads, 3 Sep. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tattletale.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1888, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tattletale was in 1888

Dictionary Entries Near tattletale

Cite this Entry

“Tattletale.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tattletale. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


tat·​tle·​tale ˈtat-ᵊl-ˌtāl How to pronounce tattletale (audio)
: a person who tattles

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