IDIOMS

tell against

(transitive, idiomatic) To serve as evidence which casts doubt upon.

Example: 1871, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Pink and White Tyranny, ch. 27:
  [S]ome people . . . have been so short-sighted and reckless as to clamor for an easy dissolution of the marriage-contract. . . . Is it possible that they do not see that this is a liberty which, once granted, would always tell against the weaker sex?
1903, Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh, ch. 34:
  Ernest's want of muscular strength did not tell against him here.
2003 June 23, First Chapter: Auto da Fay by Fay Weldon, New York Times:
  [H]ard as he worked, his age was beginning to tell against him.
1892, George Gissing, Born In Exile, ch. 2:
  She knew he was disposed to catch at anything that seemed to tell against Godwin's claims.
1905, Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Adventure of the Six Napoleons," in The Return of Sherlock Holmes:
  "Such a fact must tell against the theory."
2002 Oct. 1, John Grimshaw, Clue Challenge: BOLE, The Times (UK):
  [T]he comma tells against this reading.