tell off

verb
told off; telling off; tells off

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

Learn More About tell off

Time Traveler for tell off

Time Traveler

The first known use of tell off was in 1727

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near tell off

tell of

tell off

tell on

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tell off

Cite this Entry

“Tell off.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tell%20off. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!