tell off

verb

Definition of tell off

transitive verb

1 : reprimand, excoriate told him off for his arrogance
2 : to number and set apart especially : to assign to a special duty told off a detail and put them to opening a trench — J. F. Dobie

First Known Use of tell off

1727, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tell off

Statistics for tell off

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tell off

The first known use of tell off was in 1727

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on tell off

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tell off

Nglish: Translation of tell off for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tell off for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tell off

What made you want to look up tell off? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!