from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An upright structure of masonry, wood, plaster, or other building material serving to enclose, divide, or protect an area, especially a vertical construction forming an inner partition or exterior siding of a building.
  • noun A continuous structure of masonry or other material forming a rampart and built for defensive purposes.
  • noun A structure of stonework, cement, or other material built to retain a flow of water.
  • noun Something resembling a wall in appearance, function, or construction, as the exterior surface of a body organ or part.
  • noun Something resembling a wall in impenetrability or strength.
  • noun An extreme or desperate condition or position, such as defeat or ruin.
  • noun Sports The vertical surface of an ocean wave in surfing.
  • transitive verb To enclose, surround, or fortify with or as if with a wall: synonym: enclose.
  • transitive verb To divide or separate with or as if with a wall. Often used with off:
  • transitive verb To confine or seal behind a wall; immure.
  • transitive verb To block or close (an opening or passage, for example) with or as if with a wall.
  • idiom (off the wall) Extremely unconventional.
  • idiom (off the wall) Without foundation; ridiculous.
  • idiom (up the wall) Into a state of extreme frustration, anger, or distress.
  • idiom (writing/handwriting) An ominous indication of the course of future events.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Abbreviations of Wallachian.
  • noun A spring of water.
  • To inclose with a wall or as with a wall; furnish with walls: as, to wall a city.
  • To defend by walls; fortify.
  • To obstruct or hinder as by a wall.
  • To fill up with a wall.
  • In English university slang, same as gate.
  • To boil.
  • To well, as water; spring.
  • noun A work or structure of stone, brick, or other materials, serving to inclose a space, form a division, support, superincumbent weight, or afford a defense, shelter, or security.
  • noun A solid and permanent inclosing fence of masonry, as around a field, a garden, a park, or a town.
  • noun A rampart; a fortified enceinte or barrier: often in the plural. See cuts under chemm-deronde, fortification, and retaining wall.
  • noun Something which resembles or suggests a wall: as, a wall of armed men; a wall of fire.
  • noun A defense; means of security or protection.
  • noun In mining, one of the surfaces of rock between which the vein or lode is inclosed; the country, or country rock, adjacent to the vein. See vein.
  • noun In heraldry, a bearing having some resemblance to a wall, usually embattled.
  • noun In anatomy and zoology, a paries; an extended investing or containing structure or part of the body: as, a cell-wall; the walls of the chest or abdomen: generally in the plural
  • noun In cor als, the proper outer investment of the visceral chamber, whether of a single corallum or of a single corallite of a compound corallum.
  • noun Same as wall-knot
  • noun A disease of the eyes: same as walleye.

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

  • noun A work or structure of stone, brick, or other materials, raised to some height, and intended for defense or security, solid and permanent inclosing fence, as around a field, a park, a town, etc., also, one of the upright inclosing parts of a building or a room.
  • noun A defense; a rampart; a means of protection; in the plural, fortifications, in general; works for defense.
  • noun An inclosing part of a receptacle or vessel.
  • noun The side of a level or drift.
  • noun The country rock bounding a vein laterally.
  • noun Blind wall, etc. See under Blank, Blind, etc.
  • noun to bring to extremities; to push to extremes; to get the advantage of, or mastery over.
  • noun to be hard pressed or driven; to be the weaker party; to be pushed to extremes.
  • noun to take the inner side of a walk, that is, the side next the wall; hence, to take the precedence.
  • noun (Bot.) a kind of grass (Hordeum murinum) much resembling barley; squirrel grass. See under Squirrel.
  • noun (Mach.) See Wall frame, below.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a small bright-colored bird (Tichodroma muraria) native of Asia and Southern Europe. It climbs about over old walls and cliffs in search of insects and spiders. Its body is ash-gray above, the wing coverts are carmine-red, the primary quills are mostly red at the base and black distally, some of them with white spots, and the tail is blackish. Called also spider catcher.
  • noun (Bot.) a name given to several low cruciferous herbs, especially to the mouse-ear cress. See under Mouse-ear.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English weall, from Latin vallum, palisade, from vallus, stake. Idiom, in reference to an incident in the Bible (Daniel 5) in which a hand writes mysterious words on the wall of Belshazzar's banquet hall and the prophet Daniel interprets them as predicting the king's downfall.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English wallen, from Old English weallian ("to bubble, boil"), from Proto-Germanic *wallōnan, *wellōnan (“to fount, stream, boil”), from Proto-Indo-European *welǝn-, *welǝm- (“wave”). Cognate with Middle Dutch wallen ("to boil, bubble"), Dutch wellen ("to weld"), German wellen ("to wave, warp"), Danish vælde ("to overwhelm"), Swedish välla ("to gush, weld"). See also well.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English wall, from Old English weall ("wall, dike, earthwork, rampart, dam, rocky shore, cliff"), from Proto-Germanic *wallaz, *wallan (“wall, rampart, entrenchment”), from Latin vallum ("wall, rampart, entrenchment, palisade"), from Proto-Indo-European *wel- (“to turn, wind, roll”). Cognate with North Frisian wal ("wall"), Dutch wal ("wall, rampart, embankment"), German Wall ("rampart, mound, embankment"), Swedish vall ("mound, wall, bank"). More at wallow, walk.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English walle, from Old English *weall ("spring"), from Proto-Germanic *wallô, *wallaz (“well, spring”). See above. Cognate with Old Frisian walla ("spring"), Old English wiell ("well").


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