Synonyms & Antonyms of telling

(Entry 1 of 2)

having the power to persuade
  • presented us with telling evidence that convinced us he was right

Synonyms for telling

Words Related to telling

Near Antonyms for telling

Antonyms for telling


present participle of tell

Synonyms & Antonyms of telling (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to give an oral or written account of in some detail
  • they told the story of how they had met

Synonyms for telling

Words Related to telling

Phrases Synonymous with telling

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 for telling

Words Related to telling

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About telling

How is the word telling different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of telling are cogent, convincing, sound, and valid. While all these words mean "having such force as to compel serious attention and usually acceptance," telling stresses an immediate and crucial effect striking at the heart of a matter.

a telling example of bureaucratic waste

When would cogent be a good substitute for telling?

Although the words cogent and telling have much in common, cogent may stress either weight of sound argument and evidence or lucidity of presentation.

the prosecutor's cogent summation won over the jury

When is it sensible to use convincing instead of telling?

The synonyms convincing and telling are sometimes interchangeable, but convincing suggests a power to overcome doubt, opposition, or reluctance to accept.

a convincing argument for welfare reform

When is sound a more appropriate choice than telling?

The words sound and telling can be used in similar contexts, but sound implies a basis of flawless reasoning or of solid grounds.

a sound proposal for reviving the economy

Where would valid be a reasonable alternative to telling?

While the synonyms valid and telling are close in meaning, valid implies being supported by objective truth or generally accepted authority.

a valid reason for being absent

a valid marriage

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about telling

Time Traveler for telling

Time Traveler

The first known use of telling was in 1819

See more words from the same year

Cite this Entry

“Telling.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on telling

Dictionary: Definition of telling

Nglish: Translation of telling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of telling for Arabic Speakers

Comments on telling

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


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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