Telltale Tell"tale`, n. 1. One who officiously communicates information of the private concerns of others; one who tells that which prudence should suppress. [1913 Webster]

2. (Mus.) A movable piece of ivory, lead, or other material, connected with the bellows of an organ, that gives notice, by its position, when the wind is exhausted. [1913 Webster]

3. (Naut.) (a) A mechanical attachment to the steering wheel, which, in the absence of a tiller, shows the position of the helm. (b) A compass in the cabin of a vessel, usually placed where the captain can see it at all hours, and thus inform himself of the vessel's course. [1913 Webster]

4. (Mach.) A machine or contrivance for indicating or recording something, particularly for keeping a check upon employees, as factory hands, watchmen, drivers, check takers, and the like, by revealing to their employers what they have done or omitted. [1913 Webster]

5. (Zo["o]l.) The tattler. See {Tattler}. [1913 Webster]

6. A thing that serves to disclose something or give information; a hint or indication.

It supplies many useful links and telltales. --Saintsbury. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

7. (Railroads) An arrangement consisting of long strips, as of rope, wire, or leather, hanging from a bar over railroad tracks, in such a position as to warn freight brakemen of their approach to a low overhead bridge. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Telltale — may refer to* A tell tale, a nautical navigational aid * Telltale Games, a video game developer * Telltale, a group of musicians who played the music for the first series of the British television programme Rainbow in the 1970s * A type of… …   Wikipedia

  • Telltale — Tell tale , a. Telling tales; babbling. The telltale heart. Poe. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • telltale — [tel′tāl΄] n. 1. a person who tells secrets or informs; talebearer; tattler 2. an outward indication of something secret 3. any of various devices for indicating or recording information; indicator; specif., ☆ a) a row of dangling ropes, etc.… …   English World dictionary

  • telltale — 1540s (n.), 1590s (adj.), from TELL (Cf. tell) + TALE (Cf. tale), in phrase to tell a tale relate a false or exaggerated story (late 13c.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • telltale — [adj] revealing disclosing, evidential, giveaway, indicatory, informative, meaningful, pointing to, prognostic, significant, significatory, suggestive; concept 267 …   New thesaurus

  • telltale — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ revealing or betraying something. ► NOUN ▪ a person who tells tales …   English terms dictionary

  • telltale — Tattler Tat tler, n. 1. One who tattles; an idle talker; one who tells tales. Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of several species of large, long legged sandpipers belonging to the genus {Totanus}. [1913 Webster] Note: The common… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • telltale — tell|tale1 [ˈtelteıl] adj telltale signs/marks etc signs etc that clearly show something has happened or exists, often something that is a secret ▪ They examined the child carefully, looking for telltale signs of abuse. telltale 2 telltale2 n BrE …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • telltale — tell|tale1 [ tel,teıl ] adjective telltale signs of something are obvious signs that it exists or it has happened: the telltale signs of lead poisoning telltale tell|tale 2 [ tel,teıl ] noun count BRITISH INFORMAL a TATTLE TALE …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • telltale — I UK [ˈtelˌteɪl] / US adjective telltale signs of something are obvious signs that it exists or it has happened II UK [ˈtelˌteɪl] / US noun [countable] Word forms telltale : singular telltale plural telltales British informal showing disapproval… …   English dictionary

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