AskDefine | Define telltale

Dictionary Definition

telltale adj : disclosing unintentionally; "a telling smile"; "a telltale panel of lights"; "a telltale patch of oil on the water marked where the boat went down" [syn: revealing, telling, telltale(a)] n : someone who gossips indiscreetly [syn: tattletale, tattler, taleteller, talebearer, blabbermouth]

User Contributed Dictionary



From old English (circa 1550)


  1. one who divulges private information with intent to hurt others
  2. tattletale; squealer (U.S. slang)
  3. something that serves to reveal something else
    The telltale was the lipstick on his shirt collar.
  4. a length of yarn or ribbon attached to a sail or shroud etc to indicate the direction of the flow of the air relative to the boat

Related terms


one who divulges private information
(nautical) yarn attached to a sail etc


  1. revealing something not intended to be known
    His eye was blinking, a telltale signal that he was lying.
    He blushed when he approached, a telltale sign that he was happy to see him.


Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Telltale may refer to

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

a tale-bearing animal, babbling, betrayal, betrayer, blab, blabber, blabberer, blabbering, blabbermouth, blabbing, broad hint, busybody, catchword, clack, clue, communication leak, cue, cue word, dead giveaway, delator, divulgation, divulgement, divulgence, divulging, evidence, evulgation, fink, gentle hint, gesture, giveaway, glimmer, glimmering, gossip, gossip columnist, gossiper, gossipmonger, hint, hot lead, implication, index, indication, indiscretion, informer, inkling, innuendo, insinuation, intimation, key, key word, kick, lead, leak, letting out, look, narc, newsmonger, newspaperman, nod, notion, nudge, obvious clue, peacher, prompt, quidnunc, reporter, rumormonger, scandalmonger, scent, sign, signal, snitch, snitcher, spoor, spy, squealer, stool pigeon, stoolie, suggestion, suspicion, symptom, tabby, talebearer, taleteller, tattler, tattletale, telltale sign, tip-off, tittle-tattler, trace, track, unwitting disclosure, vestige, whiff, whisper, whistle-blower, wind, wink, yenta
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1