Synonyms of tell in English:


See US English definition of tell

See UK English definition of tell

See Spanish definition of decir


1‘why didn't you tell me about this before?’

inform, let know, notify, apprise, make aware, mention something to, acquaint with, advise, put in the picture, brief, fill in, break the news to
alert, warn, forewarn
informal clue in

2‘I hope you are telling the truth’

speak, utter, say, voice, state, declare
communicate, make known, impart, divulge, announce, proclaim, broadcast
relate, recount, narrate, give an account of, set forth, unfold, retail, report, chronicle, recite, rehearse, describe, portray, sketch, delineate, depict, paint, weave, spin

3‘Corbett told him to leave’

instruct, order, give orders, command, direct, charge, enjoin, call on, require
literary bid

4‘I tell you, I did nothing wrong’

assure, promise, give someone one's word, swear, guarantee
dated warrant

5‘the figures tell a different story’

reveal, show, be evidence of, give evidence of, disclose, indicate, convey, signify
display, exhibit

6‘promise you won't tell?’

give the game away, talk, tell tales, open one's mouth, tattle
informal spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, blab
British informal blow the gaff

keep a secret

7‘he was afraid she would tell on him’

inform against, inform on, tell tales on, give away, denounce, sell out, stab someone in the back
informal blow the whistle on, rat on, peach on, squeal on, squeak on, sell down the river
British informal grass on, sneak on, shop, stitch up, do the dirty on, split on
North American informal rat out, drop a dime on, drop the dime on, finger
Australian, New Zealand informal dob on, pimp on, pool, shelf, put someone's pot on
rare delate

8‘it was hard to tell what he was thinking’

ascertain, decide, determine, work out, make out, deduce, discern, perceive, see, identify, recognize, understand, comprehend
be sure, be certain
informal figure out, get a fix on
British informal suss out

9‘he didn't look as if he could tell a Renoir from a Renault’

distinguish, differentiate, tell apart, discriminate

10‘the strain of supporting the family was beginning to tell on him’

take its toll on, leave its mark on, have an adverse effect on, affect


    tell someone off

    ‘my parents told me off for coming home late’

    reprimand, rebuke, reproach, scold, admonish, reprove, remonstrate with, chastise, chide, upbraid, berate, take to task, pull up, castigate, lambast, read someone the Riot Act, give someone a piece of one's mind, haul over the coals, criticize, censure
    informal give someone a talking-to, give someone a telling-off, dress down, give someone a dressing-down, give someone an earful, give someone a roasting, give someone a rocket, give someone a rollicking, rap, rap someone over the knuckles, slap someone's wrist, let someone have it, bawl out, give someone hell, come down on, blow up, pitch into, lay into, lace into, give someone a caning, blast, rag, keelhaul
    British informal tick off, have a go at, carpet, monster, give someone a mouthful, tear someone off a strip, give someone what for, wig, give someone a wigging, give someone a row, row
    North American informal chew out, ream out
    British vulgar slang bollock, give someone a bollocking, tear someone a new arsehole, rip someone a new arsehole
    North American vulgar slang chew someone's ass, ream someone's ass, tear someone a new asshole, rip someone a new asshole
    dated call down, rate, give someone a rating, trim
    rare reprehend, objurgate