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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Tell-tale


TELL'-TALE, adjective Telling tales; babbling.

TELL'-TALE, noun [tell and tale.] One who officiously communicates information of the private concerns of individuals; one who tells that which prudence should suppress, and which if told, often does mischief among neighbors.

1. A movable piece of ivory or lead on a chamber organ, that gives notice when the wind is exhausted.

2. In seamanship, a small piece of wood, traversing in a groove across the front of the poop deck, and which, by communicating with a small barrel on the axis of the steering wheel, indicates the situation of the helm.