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told

[tohld] /toʊld/
verb
1.
simple past tense and past participle of tell.
Idioms
2.
all told, counting everyone or everything; in all:
There were 50 guests all told.
Related forms
well-told, adjective

tell1

[tel] /tɛl/
verb (used with object), told, telling.
1.
to give an account or narrative of; narrate; relate (a story, tale, etc.):
to tell the story of Lincoln's childhood.
2.
to make known by speech or writing (a fact, news, information, etc.); communicate.
3.
to announce or proclaim.
4.
to utter (the truth, a lie, etc.).
5.
to express in words (thoughts, feelings, etc.).
6.
to reveal or divulge (something secret or private).
7.
to say plainly or positively:
I cannot tell just what was done.
8.
to discern or recognize (a distant person or thing) so as to be able to identify or describe:
Can you tell who that is over there?
9.
to distinguish; discriminate; ascertain:
You could hardly tell the difference between them.
10.
to inform (a person) of something:
He told me his name.
11.
to assure emphatically:
I won't, I tell you!
12.
to bid, order, or command:
Tell him to stop.
13.
to mention one after another, as in enumerating; count or set one by one or in exact amount:
to tell the cattle in a herd; All told there were 17 if we are correct.
verb (used without object), told, telling.
14.
to give an account or report:
Tell me about your trip.
15.
to give evidence or be an indication:
The ruined temples told of an ancient culture, long since passed from existence.
16.
to disclose something secret or private; inform; tattle:
She knows who did it, but she won't tell.
17.
to say positively; determine; predict:
Who can tell?
18.
to have force or effect; operate effectively:
a contest in which every stroke tells.
19.
to produce a marked or severe effect:
The strain was telling on his health.
20.
British Dialect. to talk or chat.
Verb phrases
21.
tell off,
  1. to separate from the whole and assign to a particular duty.
  2. Informal. to rebuke severely; scold:
    It was about time that someone told him off.
22.
tell on, to tattle on (someone).
Idioms
23.
tell it like it is, Informal. to tell the complete, unadulterated truth; be forthright:
He may be crude but he tells it like it is.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English tellen, Old English tellan to relate, count; cognate with Dutch tellen to reckon, count, Old Norse telja to count, say, Old High German zellēn; akin to tale
Synonyms
1. recount, describe, report. 2. impart. 4. speak. 6. disclose, betray; acknowledge, own, confess; declare.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for told
  • However, he was told he no longer had a right to live there.
  • They told us about the deforestation of their land to make way for coconut plantations.
  • He told us to stress the plant by tying garden string around several of the branches to choke them.
  • But then again, so was asking total strangers to mail you the things they've never told anyone.
  • In the aftermath of fighting or repression, people are often told to forget things.
  • After floating to the surface, the tag told a satellite the details of its journey.
  • It was, they told themselves, no more than their due.
  • The garden department told me there was some basil in the test garden that had flowered and need to be snipped.
  • Half were told that the statements would be erased, while the other half believed the statements were saved.
  • My first grade teacher told me that people who were bored, were boring.
British Dictionary definitions for told

told

/təʊld/
verb
1.
the past tense and past participle of tell1
adjective
2.
See all told

tell1

/tɛl/
verb tells, telling, told
1.
(when transitive, may take a clause as object) to let know or notify: he told me that he would go
2.
(transitive) to order or instruct (someone to do something): I told her to send the letter airmail
3.
when intr, usually foll by of. to give an account or narration (of something): she told me her troubles
4.
(transitive) to communicate by words; utter: to tell the truth
5.
(transitive) to make known; disclose: to tell fortunes
6.
(intransitive) often foll by of. to serve as an indication: her blush told of her embarrassment
7.
(transitive; used with can, etc; may take a clause as object) to comprehend, discover, or discern: I can tell what is wrong
8.
(transitive; used with can, etc) to distinguish or discriminate: he couldn't tell chalk from cheese
9.
(intransitive) to have or produce an impact, effect, or strain: every step told on his bruised feet
10.
(informal) (intransitive) sometimes foll by on. to reveal secrets or gossip (about): don't tell!, she told on him
11.
(transitive) to assure: I tell you, I've had enough!
12.
(transitive) to count (votes)
13.
(intransitive) (dialect) to talk or chatter
14.
(informal, mainly US) to tell the truth no matter how unpleasant it is
15.
tell the time, to read the time from a clock
16.
(slang) you're telling me, I know that very well
See also tell apart, tell off
Derived Forms
tellable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English tellan; related to Old Saxon tellian, Old High German zellen to tell, count, Old Norse telja

tell2

/tɛl/
noun
1.
a large mound resulting from the accumulation of rubbish on a long-settled site, esp one with mudbrick buildings, particularly in the Middle East
Word Origin
C19: from Arabic tall

Tell

/tɛl/
noun
1.
William, German name Wilhelm Tell. a legendary Swiss patriot, who, traditionally, lived in the early 14th century and was compelled by an Austrian governor to shoot an apple from his son's head with one shot of his crossbow. He did so without mishap
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for told

past tense of tell, from Old English talde, past tense of tellan (see tell (v.)).

tell

v.

Old English tellan "to reckon, calculate, consider, account," from Proto-Germanic *taljanan "to mention in order" (cf. Old Saxon tellian, Old Norse telja, Old Frisian tella "to count, tell," Dutch tellen "to count, reckon," Old Saxon talon "to count, reckon," Danish tale "to speak," Old High German zalon, German zählen "to count, reckon"), from root *talo (see tale). Meaning "to narrate, relate" is from c.1000; that of "to make known by speech or writing, announce" is from early 12c. Sense of "to reveal or disclose" is from c.1400; that of "to act as an informer, to 'peach' " is recorded from 1901. Meaning "to order (someone to do something)" is from 1590s. Original sense in teller and phrase to tell time. For sense evolution, cf. French conter "to count," raconter "to recount;" Italian contare, Spanish contar "to count, recount, narrate;" German zählen "to count," erzählen "to recount, narrate."

I tolde hyme so, & euer he seyde nay. [Thomas Hoccleve, "The Regiment of Princes," c.1412]
Telling "having effect or force" is from 1852.

n.

"mound, hill," 1864, from Arabic tall, related to Hebrew tel "mount, hill, heap."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for told

told

Related Terms

fucking well told


tell

Related Terms

show-and-tell


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with told

told

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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6
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