Synonyms and Antonyms of tell

  1. 1 to give an oral or written account of in some detail they told the story of how they had met Synonyms of tell chart, chronicle, describe, narrate, recite, recount, rehearse, relate, report Words Related to tell deliver, give, reel off, state, utter, voice; detail, enumerate, itemize, particularize; bare, disclose, divulge, expose, let on (about), reveal; delineate, depict, express, render, sketch Phrases set forth

  2. 2 to express (a thought or emotion) in words just tell us what is in your heart Synonyms of tell articulate, bring out, enunciate, pass, speak, state, talk, say, utter, verbalize, vocalizeWords Related to tell air, discuss, give, look, share, sound, vent, ventilate, voice; blabber, bolt, blurt, get off, shoot; advertise, announce, blaze, broadcast, declare, post, proclaim, promulgate, publicize, publish; affirm, allege, assert, aver, avouch, avow; breathe, chirp, drawl, gasp, lip, mouth, murmur, purr, shout, splutter, spout, whisper; clothe, couch, formulate, formulize, phrase, put, word; comment, pipe up (with), remark; rip (out), snarlNear Antonyms of tell stifle, suppress

  3. 3 to find the sum of (a collection of things) by noting each one as it is being added who can tell the number of grains of sand in the world? Synonyms of tell enumerate, number, countWords Related to tell add (up), tally, total; calculate, compute, reckon, table, tabulate; check, mark, tick (off); recount

  4. 4 to give information to tell me, when did you begin playing the violin? Synonyms of tell acquaint, advise, apprise, brief, catch up, clear, clue (in), familiarize, fill in, hip, inform, instruct, enlighten, verse, wise (up)Words Related to tell advertise, alert, notify; announce (to), disclose (to); assure, certify, convince, reassure, warrant; educate, lecture, school, teach, tutor; disabuse, disenchant, disillusion, undeceiveNear Antonyms of tell misinform, mislead

  5. 5 to issue orders to (someone) by right of authority told us to sit still and wait Synonyms of tell adjure, bid, boss (around), charge, direct, enjoin, instruct, order, commandWords Related to tell ask, petition, request; beg, beseech, entreat; advise, counsel, warn; appoint, assign, authorize, commission; oversee, superintend, supervise; conduct, control, lead, manage; coerce, compel, constrain, force, oblige, requireNear Antonyms of tell comply (with), follow, keep, observeAntonyms of tell mind, obey

  6. 6 to make known (as information previously kept secret) I won't tell your secret to anyone Synonyms of tell bare, disclose, discover, divulge, expose, let on (about), spill, reveal, unbosom, uncloak, uncover, unmask, unveilWords Related to tell confide, share; debunk, show up; unclothe, undrape; advertise, announce, blaze, bring out, broadcast, declare, placard, post, proclaim, promulgate, publicize, publish, sound; betray, blab, give away, leak; inform, squeal, talk; communicate, impart, relate; acknowledge, admit, avow, concede, confess, own; disinter, rake up, smoke out, unearthNear Antonyms of tell camouflage, disguise; gild, gloss (over), varnish, whitewash; becloud, bedim, befog, cloud, darken, eclipse, obscure, overcast, overshadow, shadeAntonyms of tell cloak, conceal, cover (up), enshroud, hide, mask, shroud, veil

Synonym Discussion of tell

reveal, disclose, divulge, tell, betray mean to make known what has been or should be concealed. reveal may apply to supernatural or inspired revelation of truths beyond the range of ordinary human vision or reason.
    • divine will as revealed in sacred writings
disclose may imply a discovering but more often an imparting of information previously kept secret.
    • candidates must disclose their financial assets
divulge implies a disclosure involving some impropriety or breach of confidence.
    • refused to divulge an anonymous source
tell implies an imparting of necessary or useful information.
    • told them what he had overheard
betray implies a divulging that represents a breach of faith or an involuntary or unconscious disclosure.
    • a blush that betrayed her embarrassment

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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