Origin of hall

before 900; Middle English; Old English heall; cognate with Old Norse hǫll, German Halle; akin to Old English helan to cover, hide, Latin cēlāre to hide (see conceal)
Related formssub·hall, noun
Can be confusedhall haul




A·saph [ey-suh f] /ˈeɪ səf/, 1829–1907, U.S. astronomer: discovered the satellites of Mars.
Charles Francis,1821–71, U.S. Arctic explorer.
Charles Martin,1863–1914, U.S. chemist, metallurgist, and manufacturer.
Donald,born 1928, U.S. poet and editor.
Granville Stanley,1846–1924, U.S. psychologist and educator.
James Norman,1887–1951, U.S. novelist.
(Marguerite) Rad·clyffe [rad-klif] /ˈræd klɪf/, 1880–1943, English writer.
Prince,1748–1807, U.S. clergyman and abolitionist, born in Barbados: fought at Bunker Hill.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hall

Contemporary Examples of hall

Historical Examples of hall

  • I found him crowned with garlands; for he had been offering sacrifices in the hall.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • The music flooded the hall and the room, so that the talk died low.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Stepping out into the hall she knocked lightly on Evelyn's door.

  • "The bathroom is at the end of the hall," said Grace gently.

  • When Viviette came down for lunch, she found Dick awaiting her in the hall.


    William J. Locke

British Dictionary definitions for hall



a room serving as an entry area within a house or building
(sometimes capital) a building for public meetings
(often capital) the great house of an estate; manor
a large building or room used for assemblies, worship, concerts, dances, etc
a residential building, esp in a university; hall of residence
  1. a large room, esp for dining, in a college or university
  2. a meal eaten in this room
the large room of a house, castle, etc
US and Canadian a passage or corridor into which rooms open
(often plural) informal short for music hall

Word Origin for hall

Old English heall; related to Old Norse höll, Old High German halla hall, Latin cela cell 1, Old Irish cuile cellar, Sanskrit śālā hut; see hell



Charles Martin. 1863–1914, US chemist: discovered the electrolytic process for producing aluminium
Sir John. 1824–1907, New Zealand statesman, born in England: prime minister of New Zealand (1879–82)
Sir Peter. born 1930, English stage director: director of the Royal Shakespeare Company (1960–73) and of the National Theatre (1973–88)
(Margueritte) Radclyffe . 1883–1943, British novelist and poet. Her frank treatment of a lesbian theme in the novel The Well of Loneliness (1928) led to an obscenity trial
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hall

Old English heall "place covered by a roof, spacious roofed residence, temple, law-court," from Proto-Germanic *khallo "to cover, hide" (cf. Old Saxon, Old High German halla, German halle, Dutch hal, Old Norse höll "hall;" Old English hell, Gothic halja "hell"), from PIE root *kel- "to hide, conceal" (see cell). Sense of "entry, vestibule" evolved 17c., at a time when the doors opened onto the main room of a house. Older sense preserved in town hall, music hall, etc., and in university dormitory names. Hall of fame attested by 1786 as an abstract concept; in sporting sense first attested 1901, in reference to Columbia College.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hall in Medicine


[hôl]Granville Stanley 1844-1924

American psychologist who established an experimental psychology laboratory at Johns Hopkins University (1882), founded child psychology, and profoundly influenced educational psychology.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.