tell the time


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tell the time

1. To keep track of the current time of day. My grandfather's old pocketwatch doesn't tell the time anymore, but I really like the look of having it on me.
2. To be able to understand the time of day by looking at an analog clock or watch. Now that many young children carry phones around with them, it's becoming harder and harder to teach them how to tell the time.
See also: tell, time

tell the ˈtime

(British English) (American English tell ˈtime) read the time from a clock, etc: She’s only five — she hasn’t learnt to tell the time yet.
See also: tell, time
References in classic literature ?
Else why should he talk about his 'twenty minutes past' and about his having no watch to tell the time by?
For we later found out he doesn't know how to tell the time - or blow his nose.
London, Sept 27 ( ANI ): Watches are falling out of fashion, with a quarter of people preferring to use a mobile phone or computer to tell the time, a study has revealed.
Prof Chris Kitchin found that he could use his astrolabe to tell the time to within ten-minute accuracy, but that the cardboard tended to flap in the wind.
But only just over half (56%) can tell the time, while less than a third (32%) can tie their own shoelaces, it found.
It is an educational concept that enables children as young as four to tell the time.