tell off

tell off

  1. (transitive) To rebuke, to reprimand, or to admonish, often in a harsh, angry, direct way.
    Joel's boss told him off for being late again.
  2. (transitive) To count (members of a sequence), to enumerate.
    • 1903, Field and Stream (page 755)
      The Recruit looked thoughtful and told off the days on his fingers.
  3. (transitive, dated) To allocate duties to someone.
  4. (transitive, military) To divide and practise a regiment or company in the several formations, preparatory to marching to the general parade for field exercises.
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