tell a/the tale(redirected from tell a tale)
tell a/the tale
To depict or reveal the truth about a situation. The report tells a tale of corruption and abuse that has rocked the film industry to its core. The marauding soldiers ensured no civilians survived who could tell the tale.
tell the tale
If something tells the tale about a particular situation, it shows the truth about it. Had he been fired from all of those jobs, or had he quit? I went through the papers again, looking for references that might tell the tale. Note: You can also say that something tells its own tale. A full 60 minutes without a point is a statistic that tells its own tale. Note: People also use the much more frequent adjective tell-tale to mean the same thing. They wanted to surprise the man and not give him time to hide any tell-tale evidence. In every room are tell-tale signs of a once better life.