to tell off


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Off \Off\ ([o^]f; 115), adv. [OE. of, orig. the same word as R.
   of, prep., AS. of, adv. & prep. [root]194. See Of.]
   In a general sense, denoting from or away from; as:
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   1. Denoting distance or separation; as, the house is a mile
      off.
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   2. Denoting the action of removing or separating; separation;
      as, to take off the hat or cloak; to cut off, to pare off,
      to clip off, to peel off, to tear off, to march off, to
      fly off, and the like.
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   3. Denoting a leaving, abandonment, departure, abatement,
      interruption, or remission; as, the fever goes off; the
      pain goes off; the game is off; all bets are off.
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   4. Denoting a different direction; not on or towards: away;
      as, to look off.
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   5. Denoting opposition or negation. [Obs.]
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            The questions no way touch upon puritanism, either
            off or on.                            --Bp.
                                                  Sanderson.
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   From off, off from; off. "A live coal . . . taken with the
      tongs from off the altar." --Is. vi. 6.

   Off and on.
      (a) Not constantly; not regularly; now and then;
          occasionally.
      (b) (Naut.) On different tacks, now toward, and now away
          from, the land.

   To be off.
      (a) To depart; to escape; as, he was off without a
          moment's warning.
      (b) To be abandoned, as an agreement or purpose; as, the
          bet was declared to be off. [Colloq.]

   To come off, To cut off, To fall off, To go off, etc.
      See under Come, Cut, Fall, Go, etc.

   To get off.
      (a) To utter; to discharge; as, to get off a joke.
      (b) To go away; to escape; as, to get off easily from a
          trial. [Colloq.]

   To take off To do a take-off on, To take off, to mimic,
      lampoon, or impersonate.

   To tell off
      (a) (Mil.), to divide and practice a regiment or company
          in the several formations, preparatory to marching to
          the general parade for field exercises. --Farrow.
      (b) to rebuke (a person) for an improper action; to scold;
          to reprimand.

   To be well off, to be in good condition.

   To be ill off, To be badly off, to be in poor condition.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Tell \Tell\ (t[e^]l), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Told (t[=o]ld); p.
   pr. & vb. n. Telling.] [AS. tellan, from talu tale, number,
   speech; akin to D. tellen to count, G. z[aum]hlen, OHG.
   zellen to count, tell, say, Icel. telja, Dan. tale to speak,
   t[ae]lle to count. See Tale that which is told.]
   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." --Spenser.
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            He telleth the number of the stars.   --Ps. cxlvii.
                                                  4.
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            Tell the joints of the body.          --Jer. Taylor.
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   2. To utter or recite in detail; to give an account of; to
      narrate.
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            Of which I shall tell all the array.  --Chaucer.
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            And not a man appears to tell their fate. --Pope.
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   3. To make known; to publish; to disclose; to divulge.
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            Why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?
                                                  --Gen. xii.
                                                  18.
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   4. To give instruction to; to make report to; to acquaint; to
      teach; to inform.
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            A secret pilgrimage,
            That you to-day promised to tell me of? --Shak.
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   5. To order; to request; to command.
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            He told her not to be frightened.     --Dickens.
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   6. To discern so as to report; to ascertain by observing; to
      find out; to discover; as, I can not tell where one color
      ends and the other begins.
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   7. To make account of; to regard; to reckon; to value; to
      estimate. [Obs.]
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            I ne told no dainity of her love.     --Chaucer.
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   Note: 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.
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   To tell off, to count; to divide. --Sir W. Scott.
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   Syn: To communicate; impart; reveal; disclose; inform;
        acquaint; report; repeat; rehearse; recite.
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