Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “tell off someone”

tell off someone

(past tense and past participle told) phrasal verb with tell    /tel/ verb (past tense and past participle told  /toʊld/)
to criticize someone angrily: Rob told off his boss, then quit.
(Definition of tell off someone from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of tell off someone

Word of the Day


showing a wish to help or bring advantages to others, even if it results in disadvantage for yourself

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More