• WordNet 3.6
    • adj telltale disclosing unintentionally "a telling smile","a telltale panel of lights","a telltale patch of oil on the water marked where the boat went down"
    • n telltale someone who gossips indiscreetly
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Telltale (Naut) A compass in the cabin of a vessel, usually placed where the captain can see it at all hours, and thus inform himself of the vessel's course.
    • Telltale (Mach) A machine or contrivance for indicating or recording something, particularly for keeping a check upon employees, as factory hands, watchmen, drivers, check takers, and the like, by revealing to their employers what they have done or omitted.
    • Telltale (Naut) A mechanical attachment to the steering wheel, which, in the absence of a tiller, shows the position of the helm.
    • Telltale (Mus) A movable piece of ivory, lead, or other material, connected with the bellows of an organ, that gives notice, by its position, when the wind is exhausted.
    • Telltale A thing that serves to disclose something or give information; a hint or indication. "It supplies many useful links and telltales ."
    • Telltale (Railroads) An arrangement consisting of long strips, as of rope, wire, or leather, hanging from a bar over railroad tracks, in such a position as to warn freight brakemen of their approach to a low overhead bridge.
    • Telltale One who officiously communicates information of the private concerns of others; one who tells that which prudence should suppress.
    • a Telltale Telling tales; babbling. "The telltale heart."
    • Telltale (Zoöl) The tattler. See Tattler.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n telltale One who officiously or heedlessly communicates information concerning the private affairs of others; one who tells that which is supposed to be secret or private; a blabber; an informer; a tale-bearer.
    • n telltale An indication or an indicator; that which serves to convey information.
    • n telltale A name given to a variety of instruments or devices, usually automatic, used for counting, indicating, registering, or otherwise giving desired information. Specifically— In organ-building, a piece of bone, metal, or wood, moving in a slot, which is so connected with the bellows as to indicate to the blower or player by its position the state of the wind-supply.
    • n telltale In ornithology, a tattler; a bird of the genus Totanus in a broad sense: as, the greater and lesser telltale, Totanus melanoleucus and T. fiavipes. See tattler, and cut under yellowlegs.
    • telltale Disposed to tell or reveal secrets, whether officiously or heedlessly; given to betraying the confidences or revealing the private affairs of others; blabbing: as, telltale people.
    • telltale Showing, revealing, or denoting that which is not intended to be known, apparent, or proclaimed: as, telltale tears; telltale blushes.
    • telltale That gives warning or intimation of something: as, a telltale pipe attached to a cistern or tank.
    • ***


In literature:

He rode on and dismounting, found in two places the telltale marks.
"The Secret Wireless" by Lewis E. Theiss
Blue Bonnet looked inquiringly at the telltale faces.
"Blue Bonnet's Ranch Party" by C. E. Jacobs
The Indian scowled darkly at certain telltale tracks in the snow, and an exclamation of anger escaped him.
"Connie Morgan in the Fur Country" by James B. Hendryx
The telltale eyes dilated in sudden fear.
"Valley of Wild Horses" by Zane Grey
You can't stir without leaving a telltale mark.
"They of the High Trails" by Hamlin Garland
Ashton confronted him, vainly attempting to mask his telltale look and color with a show of hauteur.
"Out of the Depths" by Robert Ames Bennet
There was another place where the road-agents had halted, for there were the three telltale spots of blood lying close together.
"Buffalo Bill's Spy Trailer" by Colonel Prentiss Ingraham
He had found the trail again, a telltale footprint with the patched sole.
"The Plunderer" by Roy Norton
Fouchette, she was for a moment of the same color of the telltale hair.
"Mlle. Fouchette" by Charles Theodore Murray
Lettice took one end of it and drew it gently over the telltale locket.
"Name and Fame" by Adeline Sergeant

In poetry:

She pointed to that ferry-craft
With one wild, vicious stare.
Dan looked and seen the telltale name
Of "Ann" a-painted there!
"The Tearful Tale Of Captain Dan" by Ellis Parker Butler
And was it compassion?--by Heaven 'twas more!
A telltale betrays you;--that blush on your cheek.
Then come, dearest Maid, all your trifling give o'er,
And whisper what Candour will teach you to speak.
"Nancy" by Robert Bloomfield
Alack! one night at Ranelagh
The pretty Sly-boots fell a-blushing;
And all the mettled bloods looked round
To see what caused that telltale flushing.
Up stepped a grizzled Poet Fellow
To dance with Pam a saltarello.
"Pamela In Town" by Ellen Mackay Hutchinson Cortissoz
Trailing its telltale tatters only at the outermost
Fringe of mundane vision, this ghost goes
Hand aloft, goodbye, goodbye, not down
Into the rocky gizzard of the earth,
But toward a region where our thick atmosphere
"The Ghost's Leavetaking" by Sylvia Plath

In news:

Poe's Death Is Rewritten as Case of Rabies, Not Telltale Alcohol.
FILM REVIEW;That Boy of the Telltale Nose Who's Too Good to Be Wood.
25 telltale signs you might a golfaholic.
The crowd outside Zona 's is a telltale sign that last call has been called.
TellTale launches second episode of Hector: Badge of Carnage.
Hector returns in the second episode of Telltale and Straandlooper's three game series, Hector: Badge of Carnage.
In this case, a man's telltale ponytail apparently gave him away.
Telltale Games Epic iOS Sale in effect.
The trail of telltale tweets began two weeks ago — and led to the tragic discovery of her body Friday.
Telltale Games Epic iOS Sale in effect .
Here are some of the telltale signs.
Telltale games recently released a new Jurassic Park title which allows players to experience the first movie in a whole new way.
Telltale launches Sam & Max : Beyond Time and Space for iOS.
Telltale Announces Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse for Mac.
Learn the telltale signs that mean it's time to call the doctor.

In science:

We visually examined each field where X-ray sources were located, searching for telltale signs of SNR emission such as filaments and shell-like structures.
Revealing the Supernova Remnant Population of M33 with Chandra
Induction over telltale signs of BFT-type installation of artificial freedom might help to answer the generalized Kretschmann ob jection.
Empirical Equivalence, Artificial Gauge Freedom and a Generalized Kretschmann Objection
The first undisputed brown dwarf, and the first T dwarf, was Gl 229B (Naka jima et al. 1995), whose telltale methane absorption implied an effective temperature too low for a normal star.
Ultracool Field Brown Dwarf Candidates Selected at 4.5 microns
Its Airy rings are visible in the residual image up to the 6th, a telltale sign of the effectiveness of the primary subtraction.
High resolution imaging of young M-type stars of the solar neighborhood: Probing the existence of companions down to the mass of Jupiter
It might be expected that bulk phenomena, such as NMR relaxation times or the low temperature resistivity (due to two-magnon processes), should provide telltale signs of half metallic character.
Some Recent Issues in Quantum Magnetism