tell against
  1. (transitive, idiomatic) To function as a liability (for someone); to put into a condition of disadvantage.
  2. (transitive, idiomatic) To serve as evidence which casts doubt upon.
    • 1905, Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Adventure of the Six Napoleons," in The Return of Sherlock Holmes:
      "Such a fact must tell against the theory."
    • 2002 Oct. 1, John Grimshaw, Clue Challenge: BOLE ↗, The Times (UK):
      [T]he comma tells against this reading.

This text is extracted from the Wiktionary and it is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license | Terms and conditions | Privacy policy 0.004
Offline English dictionary