Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “tell on sb”

See all translations

tell on sb

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

(INFORM)

informal to give information about someone, usually something bad that they have said or done, especially to a person in authority

(AFFECT BADLY)

to have a bad effect on someone's health or behaviour: A succession of late nights had begun to tell on him and his work was suffering.
Translations of “tell on sb”
in Chinese (Traditional) 告發, (尤指向當權者)告發(某人)…
in Chinese (Simplified) 告发, (尤指向当权者)告发(某人)…
(Definition of tell on sb from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of tell on sb?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Word of the Day

christmassy

typical of Christmas, or happy because it is Christmas

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

tweleb noun

December 22, 2014
informal a Twitter celebrity; (more specifically, someone who has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter) There were a few old and a few new faces, including a tweleb or two. Expect to see and hear more from these cool kids.

Read More