telling

adjective tell·ing \ ˈte-liŋ \

Definition of telling

:carrying great weight and producing a marked effect :effective, expressive
  • the most telling evidence

tellingly

play \-liŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of telling in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of telling from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'telling.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of telling

1819

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


TELLING Defined for English Language Learners

telling

adjective

Definition of telling for English Language Learners

  • : producing a strong or important effect

  • : giving information about someone or something without intending to



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