tall

[ tawl ]
/ tɔl /
||

adjective, tall·er, tall·est.

adverb

in a proud, confident, or erect manner: to stand tall; to walk tall.

Nearby words

  1. talking picture,
  2. talking point,
  3. talking shop,
  4. talking-to,
  5. talky,
  6. tall blacks,
  7. tall buttercup,
  8. tall drink,
  9. tall meadow rue,
  10. tall oil

Origin of tall

before 1000; Middle English: big, bold, comely, proper, ready, Old English getæl (plural getale) quick, ready, competent; cognate with Old High German gizal quick

Related formstall·ness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tall


British Dictionary definitions for tall

tall

/ (tɔːl) /

adjective

of more than average height
  1. (postpositive) having a specified heighta woman five feet tall
  2. (in combination)a twenty-foot-tall partition
informal exaggerated or incrediblea tall story
informal difficult to accomplisha tall order
an archaic word for excellent
Derived Formstallness, noun

Word Origin for tall

C14 (in the sense: big, comely, valiant); related to Old English getæl prompt, Old High German gizal quick, Gothic untals foolish

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 tall

tall

adj.

"high in stature," 1520s, probably ultimately from Old English getæl "prompt, active." Sense evolved to "brave, valiant, seemly, proper" (late 14c.), then to "attractive, handsome" (mid-15c.), and finally "being of more than average height." The Old English word is related to Old High German gi-zal "quick," Gothic un-tals "indocile."

Sense evolution is remarkable, but adjectives applied to persons often mutate quickly in meaning (e.g. pretty, buxom, German klein "small, little," which in Middle High German meant the same as its English cognate clean). Meaning "exaggerated" (as in tall tale) is American English colloquial attested by 1846. Phrase tall, dark, and handsome is recorded from 1906.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with tall

tall

In addition to the idioms beginning with tall

  • tall order
  • tall tale

also see:

  • walk tall
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.