1. To mention one by one, or piece by piece; to recount; to enumerate; to reckon; to number; to count; as, to tell money. An heap of coin he told. He telleth the number of the stars. (Ps. Cxlvii. 4) Tell the joints of the body. (Jer. Taylor)
5. To order; to request; to command. He told her not to be frightened. (Dickens)
Tell, though equivalent in some respect to speak and say, has not always the same application. We say, to tell truth or falsehood, to tell a number, to tell the reasons, to tell something or nothing; but we never say, to tell a speech, discourse, or oration, or to tell an argument or a lesson. It is much used in commands; as, tell me the whole story; tell me all you know. To tell off, to count; to divide.
Synonym: To communicate, impart, reveal, disclose, inform, acquaint, report, repeat, rehearse, recite.
Origin: AS. Tellan, from talu tale, number, speech; akin to D. Tellen to count, G. Zahlen, OHG. Zellen to count, tell, say, Icel. Telja, Dan. Tale to speak, taelle to count. See Tale that which is t 3b4 old.