Describe and Tell


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Describe verb – To give a representation or account of in words.
Usage example: he tried to describe the dream he had last night as accurately as he could

Tell is a synonym for describe in narrate topic. In some cases you can use "Tell" instead a verb "Describe", when it comes to topics like speech, relate, refer, words.
Nearby Words: description, described, descriptive, describing
Synonyms for Describe


Show Definitions
Tell verb – To give an oral or written account of in some detail.
Usage example: they told the story of how they had met

Describe is a synonym for tell in narrate topic. You can use "Describe" instead a verb "Tell", if it concerns topics such as speech, relate, refer, words.
Nearby Words: telling, teller
Synonyms for Tell

Common collocations

character describe character tell character
people describe people tell people
someone describe someone tell someone
time describe time tell time
Other nouns: way, characters, world, story, anyone, feelings.

Both words in one sentence

  • Webcomic / Erfworld Parson's Stat-O-Vision glasses describe the tower in archetypal words, and when he asks them what it can do, they just tell him it can "be", doing little to explain its practical implications.
  • Manga / Sakura Gari Cannot Spit It Out - Souma can't bring himself to tell Masataka that he loves him and instead rapes him repeatedly, and then gives him an index of poems to describe his feelings.
  • Show, Don't Tell Take Our Word for It: Writers describe something they can't possibly live up to by showing it, so they just tell us what it's like, and let our imaginations fill in the gaps.
Cite this Source
Tell and Describe. (2016). Retrieved 2021, September 24, from
Describe & Tell. N.p., 2016. Web. 24 Sep. 2021. <>.
Tell or Describe. 2016. Accessed September 24, 2021.

Synonyms for describe
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Synonyms for tell
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Google Ngram Viewer shows how "describe" and "tell" have occurred on timeline: