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

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 Morgan treats the Windsors primarily as media figures—the people watch the Queen on the telly while the Queen watches them back. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 14 Dec. 2023 The Princess of Wales popped up on the TV broadcast with a special message Kate Middleton popped up in an unexpected place on Friday: the telly! Stephanie Petit, Peoplemag, 17 Nov. 2023 On the day of the match, reporters flocked to Centre Court, while untold thousands of British women turned on the telly with their afternoon tea in the hope that the nation’s tennis sweetheart might reclaim the national championship title at long last. Sally H. Jacobs, Town & Country, 15 Aug. 2023 Perhaps curling up in front of the telly to binge-watch or meeting someone special for a beverage of your choice. Ed Silverman Reprints, STAT, 7 July 2023 Advertisement A lot of his days have looked like this, being pulled in whichever direction the telly needs him. Tyler R. Tynes, Los Angeles Times, 12 June 2023 This may be an opportunity to catch up on your reading or do some binge watching in front of the telly. Ed Silverman Reprints, STAT, 21 Apr. 2023 Staying inside in front of the telly while the weather outside changes up every five minutes sounds pretty good to us — especially when Netflix is delivering so many eagerly awaited season drops and movies. Maggie Zhou,, 24 Jan. 2022 The film awards took place in March, while this night celebrated the best in telly. Vulture, 8 May 2022

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1930, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of telly was in 1930

Dictionary Entries Near telly

Cite this Entry

“Telly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

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