Also found in: Medical, Encyclopedia.
Related to tele-: monitoring, bearers, Tuit


(word root) distant
Examples of words with the root tele-: telegraph, telecommunications
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


or tel-
1. Distance; distant: telesthesia.
a. Telegraph: telegram.
b. Telephone: telemarketing.
c. Television: telecast.

[Greek tēle-, from tēle, far off; see kwel- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


or before a vowel


combining form
1. at or over a distance; distant: telescope; telegony; telekinesis; telemeter.
2. (Broadcasting) television: telecast.
3. (Telecommunications) by means of or via telephone or television
[from Greek tele far]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


1. a combining form meaning “reaching over a distance,” “carried out between two remote points,” “performed or operating through electronic transmissions”: telegraph; telekinesis; teletypewriter.
2. a combining form representing television: telegenic; telethon.
Also, esp. before a vowel, tel-.
[comb. form representing Greek têle far, akin to télos end (see teleo-)]


var. of teleo- before a vowel: teleost.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


A prefix that means "at a distance," as in telemetry.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
White, the banker's wife, complained to the tele- graph company, saying that the office in Winesburg was dirty and smelled abominably, but nothing came of her complaint.
In spite of all that has happened since, I still remember that vigil very distinctly: the black and silent observatory, the shadowed lantern throwing a feeble glow upon the floor in the corner, the steady ticking of the clockwork of the tele- scope, the little slit in the roof--an oblong profundity with the stardust streaked across it.
The first time she heard that form of salute used at the telephone she was surprised, and not pleased; but I told her I had given order for it: that henceforth and forever the tele- phone must always be invoked with that reverent for- mality, in perpetual honor and remembrance of my lost friend and her small namesake.
No need of the as yet un- dreamed-of telegraph; the tale flew from man to man, from group to group, from house to house, with little less than tele- graphic speed.
And so, having undertaken to give telephone service, they presently found themselves battling with the most intricate and baffling engineering problem of modern times--the construction around the tele- phone of such a mechanism as would bring it into universal service.