tell the time
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tell (the) time
1. Of a person, 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 time.
2. Of a clock or watch, to keep track of the current time of day. My grandfather's old pocket watch doesn't tell the time anymore, but I really like the look of having it on me.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017