Definition of tally in English:



  • 1A current score or amount.

    ‘that takes his tally to 10 goals in 10 games’
    • ‘Because his career was on the line, Paar would go by the mailroom every day and check the current tally.’
    • ‘The final tally on our bill was 67.30 leva - not too bad for a meal for four people.’
    • ‘That is an estimate based on last year's national census, which found that the number of college diploma holders was 600,000 more than the official record tally.’
    • ‘When the polls close, the election precinct workers record the tallies from each of the machines.’
    • ‘With 220 cases reported by June, the 2004 tally is expected to overtake the record 420 infections identified in 2003.’
    • ‘The American, who has already won more world titles than any other female athlete, is aiming to extend her record tally to six golds.’
    • ‘A call back and the nest site is marked and added to the tally.’
    • ‘This tally included briskly-taken goals from the elusive Fabio Cretaro and Brian Walsh, an extremely reliable forward.’
    • ‘Stokell's win in the first of two Nations Cup races was his 40th and a record tally in the series.’
    • ‘The 24-year-old took his goal tally for the season to 14 last night with a solo effort in a 2-1 defeat of Fiorentina.’
    • ‘The data, obtained by the Washington Post under a Freedom of Information Act request, represents the first military-wide annual tallies made public since 1998.’
    • ‘We don't know what the current tally is, but they're expecting that they can handle some 25,000 refugees here alone.’
    • ‘The tally at the 100-million mark is expected to be 54 million mobile phones and 46 million landlines, going by Trai reports.’
    • ‘The legislature, meanwhile, will have half of its 60 seats directly elected in the upcoming polls in September, six seats up from the current tally.’
    • ‘This population explosion has secured Tullow's position as the second biggest town in the county, moving ahead of Bagenalstown, which was traditionally ahead of Tullow in recent census tallies.’
    • ‘Neither side could add to their tally in the second period.’
    • ‘They doubled their tally late in the game with goals by Hill and Ben Connolly.’
    • ‘The current tally stands at between 1,138 and 1,374.’
    • ‘Current tallies show box office grosses and video rentals for movies based on the Cannonball concept total in excess of $100 million.’
    • ‘The visitors offered little or nothing in an confrontation that Britton settled by doubling his goal tally for the season to four.’
    total, score, count, sum, result
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    1. 1.1A record of a score or amount.
      ‘I kept a tally of David's debt on a note above my desk’
      • ‘The program provided a password-protected tally of completed diary records so that the coaches could trouble shoot in the field and check compliance.’
      • ‘I was keeping tally of the numbers of calls that each party was given.’
      • ‘Success isn't quantified by the millions in the bank but by the tally of drivers' championship titles and Formula One records which appear after his name.’
      • ‘A running tally of each player's score is kept [as in Hearts].’
      • ‘Take a tally of the number of times Clemens succeeded as a stopper in his years with the Sox.’
      • ‘The prediction is based on tallies of recorded earthquake occurrences over hundreds of years.’
      • ‘Mrs Burgess said she had never kept a tally of how much money she had raised, but said it ran into thousands of pounds.’
      • ‘The survey was carried out by an organisation called Duck Density with the help of volunteers who kept a tally of wildfowl.’
      • ‘He said he could not give a number of people on the two trains at the time, as routine tallies of passenger numbers were not taken.’
      • ‘The Inca, who had no written language, used the quipu - a device made of a series of strings with colored knots - to record census findings and tallies of animal herds and other resources.’
      • ‘The hospital records indicate a tally of four to five positive rabies cases every month and over 3,500 cases of post exposures annually.’
      • ‘Clark kept a close tally of the numbers of beneficial animals that wild ones harmed.’
      • ‘Extra staff are always on duty to cope with the numbers, and sometimes amuse themselves by keeping a running tally of blue-topped patients versus green and white.’
      • ‘In the three provinces of Riau, the Riau Islands and Papua, the final tally of eligible voters had recorded a decline.’
      • ‘And I was keeping a tally of every time Stella says ‘Superb.’’
      • ‘Another way of gauging public interest was to keep an eye on my favoured news Website, which keeps a running tally of the top 10 stories viewed by its customers.’
      • ‘Strong men were admired, and feats of physical strength - tallies of sheep shorn, fields ploughed, trees felled - went down in the annals of rural communities.’
      • ‘The boy kept a tally of the different colours of sweets as he chomped.’
      • ‘Since the mid-1990s, the tally of former footballers on honour rolls of Victorian league clubs has risen from 60 to 132.’
      • ‘As I read the book, I kept a tally of exactly who was quoted or discussed in detail.’
      running total, count, record, reckoning, enumeration, register, account, roll, itemization, listing
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    2. 1.2A particular number taken as a group or unit to facilitate counting.
      • ‘So he counted, and tallied, and counted his tallies, and when he was done he tossed the letters on the bed, flung himself full-length, and sighed.’
      • ‘Continue that count, albeit an artificially pre-programmed tally, to the year 2020, and you're face to face with the future.’
      • ‘The day's tally included more than 450,000 information requests.’
      arithmetical problem, problem, calculation, reckoning, question
      total, sum total, grand total, aggregate, summation, gross
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    3. 1.3A mark registering a tally.
      • ‘I got up from the couch and, holding my arm to steady it, went over to the wall and made a faint mark for the sixth tally with the buckle from my sandal before going back and lying down.’
      • ‘One familiar approach is to arrange the tally marks in groups, making four parallel strokes and then a fifth cross-stroke.’
      • ‘Miss Bennett pointed her pencil eraser at her blackboard and said, ‘Make a tally mark up there.’’
      • ‘It seems that the abacus started life as a humble tray covered with nothing more than dust or sand, upon which the ‘operator’ could draw figures or tally marks.’
      • ‘Your keyboard may be equipped with a small notepad; you should use this to make little tally marks in two columns for each time you shift.’
      • ‘My first two periods were English, a fact that put a tally mark under the ‘Pro’ column.’
      • ‘Some of the galleries had incised lines cut into the wall, perhaps tally marks, or identification symbols.’
      • ‘Xander gave me a wink before taking one hand and scratching off an imaginary tally mark in the air.’
      • ‘‘That's one less thing,’ I said making an invisible tally mark on the window.’
      • ‘The simplest kind of counting is based on tally marks.’
      • ‘A single tally mark was made in the appropriate space.’
      • ‘The second half was more of the same for the Warriors as Laurier followed the second kick-off with good intensity, notching a second tally early in the half.’
      • ‘Traditionally the score is kept on paper using tally marks for tens, grouping them into fifties.’
      • ‘Their daughter has introduced my children to the idea of drawing tally marks to figure out problems.’
      • ‘‘Look… someone has carved tally marks on the door here,’ Guy said.’
    4. 1.4An account kept by means of a tally.
      • ‘A hanger-on ran up to her with a collection of shipping tallies and informed her of the status of the ship.’
      • ‘We accept the figures given in the supervisor's returns, over his signature, as being the actual results as to the volumes of materials delivered and measured in the vehicles, for the tally account in the memorandum book.’
      • ‘The server keeps a cache of all active account and session tallies and credit balances.’
      • ‘Once you have registered for the Promotion, a tally account will be established for you; and you may then begin to search for the 20 hidden bottles.’
      • ‘Shipping insurance companies keep tallies on the ships lost and an inquiring mind could find the crew roster next to ‘lost at sea’.’
  • 2historical A piece of wood scored across with notches for the items of an account and then split into halves, each party keeping one.

    • ‘No two sticks could be found so exactly similar, as to admit of being identically matched with each other, when split in the coarse manner of cutting tallies; and certainly no alteration of the particulars expressed by the notches and inscription could remain undiscovered when the two parts were again brought together.’
    • ‘When the deal was finalised, half of the tally stick went to the purchaser, and you kept the other half as a permanent record.’
    • ‘As resident surgeon to the Bank of England and the son of the accountant general, Smee was able to state with authority concerning some tallies preserved as relics that "curiously enough, I have ascertained that no gentleman in the Bank of England recollects the mode of reading them."’
  • 3archaic A counterpart or duplicate of something.

    ‘the key is so cut as to form a tally with the interior machinery’
    counterpart, match, mate, duplicate
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  • 4A label giving information about a plant or tree.

    • ‘Figure 185 shows a zinc tally, which is secured to the tree by means of a sharp and pointed wire driven into 185' Zinc tree label' the wood.’
    • ‘The tally itself is what is known as the "package label" of the nurserymen, being six inches long, one and one-fourth inches wide, and costing (painted) less than one and one-half dollars a thousand.’


  • 1[no object] Agree or correspond.

    ‘their signatures should tally with their names on the register’
    ‘their books never tallied’
    • ‘However, his age and marital status do not seem to tally with the ‘Second Class’ status of this person in the List.’
    • ‘The figures tally with national averages, as a new report out today from the Department of Health reveals that Caesareans have increased four-fold in the last 25 years.’
    • ‘Andrews just hopes their ambitions tally with his own and those of his boss.’
    • ‘Often tax inspectors would discover tax evasion by examining an individual's personal assets and lifestyle to see if their outgoings tally with their income.’
    • ‘It is therefore important for speech writers to recognise the fact that, whatever they scribble, should tally with the audience or expectations of the listeners.’
    • ‘This number tallies with the number given in the so-called street books where deaths were recorded by reference to the streets and houses where the dead were found.’
    • ‘There are undoubtedly chefs who believe reviewers go out with the express intention of ripping into a restaurant, but that doesn't tally with my experience.’
    • ‘If the numbers of those who voted at that particular spot don't tally with the registers in the hands of agents, it would clearly be known.’
    • ‘While most pollsters say they would contact clients whose analyses didn't tally with the numbers, few ever do.’
    • ‘The number of reports does not tally with the number of case files because in some cases a single case file corresponds to more than one report of the same practice under investigation.’
    • ‘If the names on voting documents don't tally with people's ID, they will not be able to vote.’
    • ‘The way observations tally with detailed calculations provides firm support for the model.’
    • ‘Each of these designs has its own technical approach and theoretical bandwidth, the latter of which didn't always tally with our test results.’
    • ‘Overall, worldwide PC unit shipments were up 23.3 per cent, according to IDC, which tallies well with PC Data's report on the US retail, online and mail order channels.’
    • ‘They can then see how their answers tally with those of people sampled in a Harris Poll.’
    • ‘The news of economic prosperity doesn't tally with the headlines in the newspapers.’
    • ‘The actor feels the pressure of living up to a media-induced facade that just doesn't tally with reality.’
    • ‘They say his actions, which destabilise, don't tally with the talk.’
    • ‘There are good reasons why the slightly arrogant screen image doesn't quite tally with the reality.’
    • ‘However, these claims do not appear to tally with official figures, which show that the number of acute beds increased by just 408 since 2001.’
    correspond, agree, accord, concur, coincide, match, fit, be in agreement, be consistent, conform, equate, harmonize, suit, be in tune, dovetail, correlate, parallel
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  • 2[with object] Calculate the total number of.

    ‘the votes were being tallied with abacuses’
    • ‘An overall reliability coefficient was calculated by tallying the number of intervals in which both observers agreed that the targeted behavior did or did not occur.’
    • ‘Having access to the full report allowed the Advocate to tally the figures for the past financial year and compare them to the total for the previous financial year.’
    • ‘Countries also collect species-specific trade data to produce an annual report that tallies all imports and exports.’
    • ‘There were concerns that some votes weren't tallied, that people didn't know how to use the machines.’
    • ‘With hundreds of thousands of troops overseas, how will those votes be tallied and collected?’
    • ‘It wasn't until Sunday that the votes were tallied.’
    • ‘Points were given for successful answers and were tallied up at the end of the day.’
    • ‘When he finished tallying them, the total came to 34.’
    • ‘With no actual paper trail, votes could be tallied and lost, or not even counted at all.’
    • ‘We tallied the total acreage of each of the three relevant soil series in every county within the Ridge and Valley using the county soil surveys.’
    • ‘I would dearly like to be able to tally the total amount their varied and many fundraisers for deserving causes have accumulated over the years.’
    • ‘Within each nesting block, we tallied the number of avian nest predators observed.’
    • ‘The votes are tallied separately, but count together to determine the winner.’
    • ‘With 11 candidates, the Ballymote Electoral area is sure to be one to watch out for when the votes are being tallied up.’
    • ‘Subgeneric diversity was calculated by tallying taxa that cross boundaries.’
    • ‘Additionally, a composite barrier scale was constructed by tallying the total number of barriers identified by parents.’
    • ‘Votes will be tallied at counting centres in the presence of candidate representatives and the media.’
    • ‘The membership total is tallied by counting the number of people who have paid dues in the last 18 months.’
    • ‘So, let's get straight to the answers, so you can tally your score.’
    • ‘That means we need to retain policies to tally the votes at the polls, in front of observers.’
    count, calculate, add up, total, enumerate, compute
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Late Middle English (denoting a notched tally stick): from Anglo-Norman French tallie, from Latin talea twig, cutting. Compare with tail.