Tell in Scrabble Dictionary

What does tell mean? Is tell a Scrabble word?

How many points in Scrabble is tell worth? tell how many points in Words With Friends? What does tell mean? Get all these answers on this page.

Scrabble® and Words with Friends® points for tell

See how to calculate how many points for tell.

Is tell a Scrabble word?

Yes. The word tell is a Scrabble US word. The word tell is worth 4 points in Scrabble:


Is tell a Scrabble UK word?

Yes. The word tell is a Scrabble UK word and has 4 points:


Is tell a Words With Friends word?

Yes. The word tell is a Words With Friends word. The word tell is worth 6 points in Words With Friends (WWF):


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Valid words made from Tell

You can make 8 words from 'tell' in our Scrabble US and Canada dictionary.

4 letters words from 'tell'


3 letters words from 'tell'


2 letters words from 'tell'

EL 2ET 2
TE 2 

All 4 letters words made out of tell

tell etll tlel ltel eltl letl tell etll tlel ltel eltl letl tlle ltle tlle ltle llte llte ellt lelt ellt lelt llet llet

Note: these 'words' (valid or invalid) are all the permutations of the word tell. These words are obtained by scrambling the letters in tell.

Definitions and meaning of tell



  • (UK, US) enPR: tĕl, IPA(key): /tɛl/, /tɛɫ/
  • Rhymes: -ɛl

Etymology 1

From Middle English tellen (to count, tell), from Old English tellan (to count, tell), from Proto-Germanic *taljaną, *talzijaną (to count, enumerate), from Proto-Germanic *talą, *talǭ (number, counting), from Proto-Indo-European *dol- (calculation, fraud). Cognate with Saterland Frisian tälle (to say; tell), West Frisian telle (to count), West Frisian fertelle (to tell, narrate), Dutch tellen (to count), Low German tellen (to count), German zählen, Faroese telja. More at tale.


tell (third-person singular simple present tells, present participle telling, simple past and past participle told)

  1. (transitive, archaic outside of idioms) To count, reckon, or enumerate.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.vii:
      And in his lap a masse of coyne he told, / And turned vpsidowne, to feede his eye / A couetous desire with his huge threasury.
    • 1875, Hugh MacMillan, The Sunday Magazine:
      Only He who made them can tell the number of the stars, and mark the place of each in the order of the one great dominant spiral.
  2. (transitive) To narrate.
    • 2016, VOA Learning English (public domain)
      Tell her you’re here.
  3. (transitive) To convey by speech; to say.
  4. (transitive) To instruct or inform.
    • Bible, Genesis xii. 18
      Why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?
  5. (transitive) To order; to direct, to say to someone.
    • 1909, H. G. Wells, Ann Veronica
      She said she hoped she had not distressed him by the course she had felt obliged to take, and he told her not to be a fool.
    • Stability was restored, but once the re-entry propulsion was activated, the crew was told to prepare to come home before the end of their only day in orbit.
  6. (intransitive) To discern, notice, identify or distinguish.
    • Captain Edward Carlisle, soldier as he was, martinet as he was, felt a curious sensation of helplessness seize upon him as he met her steady gaze, her alluring smile; he could not tell what this prisoner might do.
  7. (transitive) To reveal.
  8. (intransitive) To be revealed.
    • 1990, Stephen Coonts, Under Siege, 1991 Pocket Books edition, →ISBN, p.409:
      Cherry looks old, Mergenthaler told himself. His age is telling. Querulous — that's the word. He's become a whining, querulous old man absorbed with trivialities.
  9. (intransitive) To have an effect, especially a noticeable one; to be apparent, to be demonstrated.
    • 1859 John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
      Opinion ought [… to give] merited honour to every one, whatever opinion he may hold [] keeping nothing back which tells, or can be supposed to tell, in their favour.
  10. (transitive) To use beads or similar objects as an aid to prayer.
  11. (intransitive, childish) To inform someone in authority about a wrongdoing.
    I saw you steal those sweets! I'm going to tell!
  12. (authorship, intransitive) To reveal information in prose through outright expository statement -- contrasted with show
    Maria rewrote the section of her novel that talked about Meg and Sage's friendship to have less telling and more showing.
Usage notes
  • In dialects, other past tense forms (besides told) may be found, including tald/tauld (Scotland), tawld (Devonshire), teld (Yorkshire, Devonshire), telled (Northern England, Scotland, and in nonstandard speech generally), telt (Scotland, Geordie), tole (AAVE, Southern US, and some dialects of England), toll (AAVE), tolt (AAVE).
  • (enumerate): count, number; see also Thesaurus:count
  • (narrate): narrate, recount, relate
  • (to instruct or inform): advise, apprise; See also Thesaurus:inform
  • (reveal): disclose, make known; See also Thesaurus:divulge
  • (inform someone in authority): grass up, snitch, tattle; See also Thesaurus:rat out
  • (to instruct or inform): ask
Derived terms


tell (plural tells)

  1. A reflexive, often habitual behavior, especially one occurring in a context that often features attempts at deception by persons under psychological stress (such as a poker game or police interrogation), that reveals information that the person exhibiting the behavior is attempting to withhold.
  2. (archaic) That which is told; a tale or account.
    • (Can we date this quote by Horace Walpole and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      I am at the end of my tell.
  3. (Internet) A private message to an individual in a chat room; a whisper.
See also
  • dead giveaway

Etymology 2

From Arabic تَلّ(tall, hill, elevation) or Hebrew תֵּל(tél, hill), from Proto-Semitic *tall- (hill).


tell (plural tells)

  1. (archaeology) A hill or mound, originally and especially in the Middle East, over or consisting of the ruins of ancient settlements.

Norwegian Bokmål



  1. imperative of telle

  • the thick-walled resting spore of rusts and smuts from which the basidium arises.
    (source: Collins Scrabble Dictionary)