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tell 1

v. told (tōld), tell·ing, tells
a. To communicate by speech or writing; express with words: She told him that the store was closed. Tell me the truth.
b. To give a detailed account of; narrate: told what happened; told us a story.
c. To notify (someone) of something; inform: He told us of his dream to sail around the world.
d. To make known; disclose or reveal: tell a secret; tell fortunes.
e. To inform (someone) positively; assure: I tell you, the plan will work.
f. To give instructions to; direct: told the customers to wait in line.
2. To discover by observation; discern: We could tell that he was upset.
3. To name or number one by one; count: telling one's blessings; 16 windows, all told.
1. To relate a story or give an account of an event: The sailor told of having been adrift for days.
2. To reveal something that is not supposed to be revealed, especially something that someone has done wrong: She promised not to tell on her friend.
3. To have an effect or impact: In this game every move tells.
Games An unintentional or unconsciously exhibited behavior that reveals or betrays one's state of mind, as when playing poker.
Phrasal Verb:
tell off Informal
To rebuke severely; reprimand.
tell time
To determine the time of day indicated by the positions of the hands on a clock.

[Middle English tellen, from Old English tellan; see del- in Indo-European roots.]

tell′a·ble adj.

tell 2

A mound, especially in the Middle East, made up of the remains of a succession of previous settlements.

[Arabic tall; see tll in Semitic 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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Catastrophe consists, essentially, in an event that causes a radical instance of what David Herman (Basic Elements 133-36) calls "world disruption." For Herman, world disruption and narrative world-making are two sides of the same coin: narrative world-making is triggered by events that destabilize the status quo of a world, and are therefore surprising and highly tellable. Catastrophe owes its inherent tellability to the profound destabilization it brings about.
Stories that are highly tellable often have what Singer and colleagues describe as "contrastive experiential sets" or a conflicted and dynamic tension (607).
It's a wonderful spread composed of strange mythical creatures such as the Sookooyah, animal tales such as the two about Compere Lapin, a trickster tale about Brer Anansi and also very tellable tales about humans, including one about a princess of whom her father the king would frequently say, 'You too choosy-choosy!
Yet it is she who makes Couturier's American episode tellable, for she had access to the little known intimate side of him, here revealed in his letters to her and also recorded in her annotations of these letters.
We applied the "dimensions of narrative" framework developed by DeFina and Georgakopoulou (2012) to identify "tellable" events that presented a "breach" or a disruption of the pre-service teachers' expected norms.
What is important for me here is neither the detail nor authenticity of the letter but the narrative that Ogendi reconstructs out of the situation that, in Bruner's phrase, makes it 'tellable'.
Twenty tellable tales: Audience participation folktales for the beginning storyteller (revised edition).
Twain's opening to the "Private History" recounts how "a lady from Finland"--the author and suffragette Baroness Alexandra Gripenburg--asked him to "tell her a story in our negro dialect." He therefore "told her one of Hopkinson Smith's negro stories, and gave her a copy of Harper's Monthly containing it." According to Twain, he got a "good lashing in the Swedish press" when Gripenburg published an account of her encounter with Clemens in a Swedish newspaper and erroneously attributed the story to him instead of Francis Hopkinson Smith: "for it was shown that Boccaccio had told that very story, in his curt and meager fashion, five hundred years before Smith took hold of it and made a good and tellable thing out of it" (1894, 446).
The task then is to render body memories tellable, which means to order and arrange them in the form of a story [...]."
Although at Iowa Tom still had not accepted the meaning of his feelings, there were among the theatres older, more experienced and sophisticated members those who could recognize the tellable signs.
This may even include cognitive phenomena such as how people tell and 'make tellable, inter alia, their beliefs, memories, forgettings, dreams, understandings, thoughts' (Coulter, 1991, p.
It is what transforms a mere sequence of events into a story worthy of interest; it is "why this narrative--or any narrative--is felt to be tellable; in other words, why the events of the narrative are reportable" (Labov 371).