from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of spreading tales, especially such as are either untrue or in some way detrimental to the person concerned.
  • Spreading stories or reports which are likely to do harm.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of informing officiously; communication of sectrts, scandal, etc., maliciously.
  • adjective Telling tales officiously.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Spreading gossip or rumor.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective prone to communicate confidential information


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

tale +‎ bearing


  • Again, “among your people” suggests that the problem of talebearing goes beyond the individual hurt and affects everybody.

    The Ten Commandments

  • I strongly disapprove of talebearing of any sort, and wish to hear no more of this.

    The Hand of Ethelberta

  • Though Rebecca had had the better of him, George was above the meanness of talebearing or revenge upon a lady — only he could not help cleverly confiding to Captain Crawley, next day, some notions of his regarding Miss Rebecca — that she was a sharp one, a dangerous one, a desperate flirt, &c.; in all of which opinions Crawley agreed laughingly, and with every one of which

    Vanity Fair

  • Very little open quarrelling ever took place amongst them; but backbiting and talebearing were universal.

    The Professor, by Charlotte Bronte

  • Informers abounded where talebearing met with countenance and reward; and the sword was readily unsheathed when its success was certain, and it carved out empire.

    The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon

  • Not everyone approved; but Philip was King, there was no getting past that; and no one loved either guardian well enough to risk the dangerous task of talebearing.

    Funeral Games

  • The ring of pupils around him, true to the child's creed of no talebearing, glanced at school books or lesson papers with preternaturally grave faces.

    A Son of the City A Story of Boy Life

  • You know that I never favor talebearing, but, just as a matter of curiosity, is it the young man who passes the plate in church, or the one who sells ribbon in Marsh and Elkins's?

    Just Patty

  • He had a score to settle with Josiah Wilby, a boy whose talebearing had procured him his last, well-earned whacking.

    The Admirable Tinker Child of the World

  • It put a premium on talebearing and resorted to most cruel means to convict those who earnestly denied that their beliefs were different from those of the Church.

    An Introduction to the History of Western Europe


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