un telling


having force or effect; effective; striking: a telling blow.
revealing; indicative of much otherwise unnoticed: a telling analysis of motivation in business.

1850–55; tell1 + -ing2

tellingly, adverb
untelling, adjective

1. powerful, forceful, potent, weighty.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
telling (ˈtɛlɪŋ)
1.  having a marked effect or impact: a telling blow
2.  revealing: a telling smile

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. tellan "to reckon, calculate, consider, account," from P.Gmc. *taljanan "to mention in order" (cf. O.S. tellian, O.N. telja, O.Fris. tella "to count, tell," Du. tellen "to count, reckon," O.S. talon "to count, reckon," Dan. tale "to speak," O.H.G. zalon, Ger. zählen "to count, reckon"), from
base *talo (see tale). Meaning "to narrate, relate" is from c.1000; that of "to make known by speech or writing, announce" is from c.1122. 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 1599. Original sense in teller and phrase to tell time. For sense evolution, cf. Fr. conter "to count," raconter "to recount;" It. contare, Sp. contar "to count, recount, narrate;" Ger. 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.

"mound, hill," 1864, from Arabic tall, related to Heb. tel "mount, hill, heap."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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