: to tell someone in
authority, especially a parent or teacher, about something wrong that someone
has done - used by children
I'm going to tell if you don't stop messing
Please don't tell on me—Mum thinks I've
been staying at my friend's house.
tell tales (on somebody)
: if a
child tells tales or tattles on someone, they tell a parent or teacher about
something another child has done in order to cause trouble
tales (on somebody)"
tattle (on somebody)
"Mum, Daniel's broken a plate."
"Don't tell tales, dear."
an unpopular boy, who was always telling
tales on the other children
Sarah's teacher told her it was silly to
keep tattling on her classmates.
You'll lose all your friends if you keep
rat on somebody
: to tell someone
in authority about something wrong that someone has done, especially when this
split on somebody
Can you believe he ratted on his own
Don't worry, Robert's reliable. He won't split
: to give information about
a crime, an accident etc. to the police or to someone in authority; to complain
about someone to people in authority
I'd like to report a theft.
report something to somebody
All accidents must be reported at once to
the aviation authority.
Many rape victims are too scared to report
the attack to the police.
Tom's drinking problem led co-workers to
report him to the supervisor.
report somebody (for something)
Polish referee Ryszard Wojoik reported two
Leeds United players for violent conduct.
inform on somebody
: to secretly
tell the police that someone you know has done something illegal
Charlotte informed on her brother, who was
then arrested for drug-dealing.
: to tell the police who is
responsible for a crime or illegal activity when this seems disloyal
When we got there the cops were waiting for
us. Somebody must have squealed.
If the others ever found out he'd squealed
on them, they'd kill him.
You grassed on us to save your own life.
grass somebody up
I don't trust her—what if she grasses us