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How to pronounce telltale (audio)

Dictionary definition of telltale

A subtle or revealing sign or clue that provides information or indicates something specific.
"The dark circles under his eyes were a telltale indication of his lack of sleep."

Detailed meaning of telltale

It can be a behavior, a physical manifestation, or an object that offers insight or evidence about a particular situation, event, or person. Often, a telltale is associated with revealing secrets, hidden intentions, or underlying emotions. It possesses the ability to disclose information that may not be readily apparent or known to others. Similar to a breadcrumb trail, telltales can guide observant individuals towards a deeper understanding of a situation or individual, unraveling the truth behind the surface. The term "telltale" emphasizes the significance of paying attention to subtle details and using them as valuable sources of insight or understanding in various contexts, such as detective work, interpersonal relationships, or even scientific investigations.

Example sentences containing telltale

1. The detective noticed a telltale stain on the suspect's shirt, indicating possible involvement in the crime.
2. The telltale scent of freshly baked bread wafted from the bakery, drawing customers in.
3. The trembling in her voice was a telltale sign of her nervousness during the interview.
4. The telltale tracks in the snow revealed the presence of a wild animal in the area.
5. The telltale flicker of a smile on her face betrayed her amusement at the joke.
6. The damaged lock was a telltale sign that someone had tried to break into the house.

History and etymology of telltale

The noun 'telltale' combines two words with distinct origins. 'Tell' derives from the Old English 'tellan,' meaning 'to count' or 'to narrate,' while 'tale' comes from the Old English 'tal,' which means 'a story' or 'a statement.' The etymology of 'telltale' eloquently captures its essence as a subtle or revealing sign or clue that provides information or indicates something specific. It embodies the idea that certain actions, behaviors, or marks can 'tell a tale' or narrate a story, often implying an unintentional disclosure of secrets or hidden truths. 'Telltale' signifies the power of observation and interpretation in discerning important details or insights from seemingly insignificant signs or clues.

Quiz: Find the meaning of telltale

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Further usage examples of telltale

1. The telltale scent of chlorine lingered in the air after a refreshing swim in the pool.
2. The telltale beeping sound from the smoke alarm alerted us to the presence of a fire.
3. The telltale paw prints on the freshly washed floor exposed the mischievous antics of the family pet.
4. The telltale redness and swelling around her ankle indicated a sprain.
5. The telltale crumbs on his desk hinted at his guilty indulgence in a midday snack.
6. Her telltale smile betrayed her excitement about the surprise party.
7. The telltale aroma of fresh-baked bread filled the kitchen.
8. A telltale stain on the carpet marked the spill's location.
9. The telltale chirping of birds signaled the start of dawn.
10. His telltale hesitation hinted at his lack of confidence.
11. The telltale rustling in the bushes startled the hikers.
12. The telltale shiver down her spine warned of danger.
13. The telltale scent of roses lingered in the air.
14. The telltale scratch on the car door revealed the culprit.
15. A telltale twinkle in his eye indicated his amusement.
16. The telltale footprints in the snow led them to safety.
17. A telltale tremor in his voice betrayed his anxiety.
18. The telltale silence in the room spoke volumes.
19. A telltale glimmer of hope emerged in their conversation.
20. The telltale flicker of the streetlight revealed their presence.
21. Her telltale blush gave away her embarrassment.
22. The telltale ripple on the water hinted at a hidden creature.
23. A telltale beep from the device signaled completion.
24. The telltale crack in the vase spelled trouble.
25. His telltale laughter echoed through the room, infectious to all.



indicator, disguise, mask, cloak


SAT 17 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Clarify and Elucidate, High School 14

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