tel·​ly | \ ˈte-lē How to pronounce telly (audio) \
variants: or less commonly
plural tellies also teles

Definition of telly

British, informal
: television … I asked parents what they thought of children's telly.— Vanessa Feltz While you were doing your couch potato number in front of the telly last Sun., 67-yr-old Zadu Taft was swimming across the Golden Gate …— Berb Caen Is there any truth to the hundreds of pieces of advice we hear from aunt Jane, who 'saw it on the tele'?— Patrick Holler

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Examples of telly in a Sentence

Please turn off the telly. I just want to relax and watch the telly.
Recent Examples on the Web And with the rise of digital media, promotion of liquor products has moved from the telly screen to online platforms such as Facebook, and Instagram targeting young tipplers. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "At one of India’s oldest liquor companies, digital marketing is key to “relentless modernisation”," 27 Dec. 2019 But generally the interviews make for great telly, especially in the last days of an election. Washington Post, "Breaking decades of tradition, Boris Johnson wants to dodge a notoriously tough interview with BBC’s top Rottweiler, Andrew Neil," 6 Dec. 2019 Then that show came out and Gurinder [Chada], our director, saw me on the telly and then called me into audition. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Blinded by the Light star on filming that 'Born to Run' sequence and meeting Springsteen," 14 Aug. 2019 The day after the moon landing brought another one of those interminable afternoons in the front room—nothing on the telly, stale, old-folks’ chat in the air. Kevin Dettmar, The New Yorker, "Witnessing the Moon Landing in Ireland, at the Start of the Troubles," 20 July 2019 Other sports- and soccer-centric bars likely to have the matches on telly include Champion's Pub, 2417 N. Bartlett Ave. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "FIFA Women's World Cup 2019: Here's where you can watch the matches," 6 June 2019 At parties across Naperville, royal-watchers will be tuning their tellies to catch a glimpse of the pomp and pageantry of an American marrying into family of the longest-reigning monarch. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "Set the alarm early for live royal wedding watch parties in Naperville," 16 May 2018 There will be no vistas of Victorian Era clubhouses beaming through the telly. Matthew Futterman, WSJ, "Give Royal Birkdale Some Love," 19 July 2017 If the clouds start rolling in, no need to batten down the hatches: This water-resistant telly can weather a spring shower or even a brief dip in the pool. Nicole Sforza, ELLE Decor, "Tough Enough," 5 July 2012

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

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First Known Use of telly

1930, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for telly

tel(evision) + -y; tele as if shortened from television

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Time Traveler for telly

Time Traveler

The first known use of telly was in 1930

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Cite this Entry

“Telly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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