tell the 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.
See also: tale, tell

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.
See also: tale, tell
References in classic literature ?
What followed is told differently in different books, but all agree in this, that a great chief called Fergus came back from the dead in order to tell the tale, which was again written down.
Had the elevation of the parabolic mirror been a few yards higher, none could have lived to tell the tale.
I don't suppose anyone of our time has seen her close and lived to tell the tale.
My favourite books to read to them were the Katie Morag books, which tell the tale of a wee Scottish girl from the Highlands.
With a story like theirs, you only need the tango to tell the tale.
Geppetto uses the objects of a carpenter''s workshop to tell the tale of the puppet that wants to be a real boy, and the puppet-maker who wants to be a real father.
In alternating chapters with two distinct characters, Avi and Vail tell the tale of a week turned inside out and upside down on parallel tracks that are destined to converge.
Hannah Goodman's ability to tell the tale of My Sister's Wedding is clear.
Shot, appropriately, in a raw, red meat 1960s grindhouse style, Jim Van Bebber's labor of twisted love purports to tell the tale of L.
The August issue of The Hightower Lowdown is headlined "The numbers tell the tale of the Bush presidency," with the kicker "It all adds up to a sorry story.
IT'S probably as close as most people get to a Great White Shark while still living to tell the tale.
No less than three new books had hit the bookshelves to tell the tale of the first human to run a mile in less than four minutes.
Living to Tell the Tale A Book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Price: $26.
Actually, it is a miracle they live to tell the tale.
I've never heard of anyone being pulled under and spinning and living to tell the tale," she later stated.