Meaning of “tell sb off” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"tell sb off" in British English

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tell sb off

phrasal verb with tell uk /tel/ us /tel/ verb told, told

B2 to speak angrily to someone because they have done something wrong:

The teacher told me off for swearing.

More examples

  • Mum told me off for slopping water all down her shirt.
  • If you make your sister cry, you'll get told off.
  • Their teacher told them off for chattering in the lesson.

(Definition of “tell sb off” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

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