- having a relatively great height; of more than average stature: a tall woman; tall grass.
- having stature or height as specified: a man six feet tall.
- large in amount or degree; considerable: a tall price; Swinging that deal is a tall order.
- extravagant; difficult to believe: a tall tale.
- high-flown; grandiloquent: He engages in so much tall talk, one never really knows what he's saying.
- having more than usual length; long and relatively narrow: He carried a tall walking stick.
- Archaic. valiant.
- seemly; proper.
- fine; handsome.
- in a proud, confident, or erect manner: to stand tall; to walk tall.
Origin of tall
SynonymsSee more synonyms for tall on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tall
Also, she was tall and thin, too, further adding to the ways she met the physical beauty conventions.Why Was Bess Myerson the First and Last Jewish Miss America?
January 7, 2015
But when she called back, Brinsley was determined to tall her about his minted screenwriter status.Alleged Cop Killer’s Blood-Soaked Screenplay
December 24, 2014
It had a wide brim and a tall crown, which created an insulated pocket of air and could also be used to carry water.My Love Letter to the Stetson
December 24, 2014
A tugboat improbably sits high on the bank, obscured by tall grass, a broken oil rig hangs over the water nearby.
It was headquartered in Stanleyville, in a tall corner building that still stands in the decrepit, yet lively, downtown.
"That's it," he said, as he busied himself with a tall glass and the cracked ice.
Philothea's tall figure was a lovely union of majesty and grace.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
“A tall and stalwart esquire, methinks,” said Master Headley.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
He's not so large or tall, but quick and springy, and muscled like a panther.
It lies behind that tall monument; I cannot see it for the blossoming boughs.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
- of more than average height
- (postpositive)having a specified heighta woman five feet tall
- (in combination)a twenty-foot-tall partition
- informal exaggerated or incrediblea tall story
- informal difficult to accomplisha tall order
- an archaic word for excellent
Word Origin and History for tall
"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.
Idioms and Phrases with tall
In addition to the idioms beginning with tall
- tall order
- tall tale
- walk tall