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- (usually childish) To inform on, to rat out; to tell a person in authority that someone else has done something wrong.
- My sister told on me when I didn't go to school.
- Bible, 1 Sam. xxvii. 11
- Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David.
- To cause visible strain to.
- Years of drinking started to tell on his body.
to tell someone that someone else has done something wrong