n. pl. tal·lies
a. A reckoning, score, or amount: What was the final tally of votes?
b. A record of a reckoning, score, or amount: She keeps a tally of the miles she runs each week.
2. The act of scoring a point or goal in a game or contest: took the lead on his tally in the second half.
a. A stick on which notches are made to keep a count or score.
b. A stick on which notches were formerly made to keep a record of amounts paid or owed.
4. A mark used in recording a number of acts or objects, most often in series of five, consisting of four vertical lines canceled diagonally or horizontally by a fifth line.
5. A label, ticket, or piece of metal or wood used for identification or classification, especially in gardens and greenhouses.
6. Archaic Something that is very similar or corresponds to something else; a double or counterpart.
v. tal·lied, tal·ly·ing, tal·lies
a. To reckon or count. Often used with up: tallied up the bill.
b. To make a record of (an amount, for example).
2. To score (a point or goal) in a game or contest.
3. To label, as with a ticket, for identification or classification.
1. To be alike; correspond or agree: The report tallies with your description of the accident.
2. To keep a record, as of a score in a game.
3. To score a point or goal in a game or contest.
[Middle English taly, from Anglo-Norman tallie, from Medieval Latin tallia, from Latin tālea, stick.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.