tell against (someone or something)

tell against (someone or something)

To impact on or affect someone or something in a particularly disadvantageous, detrimental, or otherwise adverse manner. The lineup of superstar athletes should have told against the opposition, an band of newcomers and B-listers, but the underdogs' tenacity and energy saw them manage a stunning upset. Not being able to represent life as it really is will unfortunately tell against writers and artists living under this oppressive regime.
See also: tell

tell against

v.
To have an adverse impact on someone or something: Their lack of experience may tell against them during the job interview.
See also: tell