WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
wall /wɔl/USA pronunciation
n. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
- Building, Architecturea vertical, upright structure used to form part of a shelter, to divide an area into rooms, or to protect.
- something not physical that is like a wall in that it forms a barrier between people or keeps people apart:a wall of silence between them.
- to enclose, separate, form a border around, or surround with or as if with a wall: [~ + object]to wall a town.[~ + off + object]The workers walled off the area with bricks.[~ + object + off]to wall it off with bricks.
- to seal or fill (an opening) with a wall: [~ (+ up) + object]to wall up a hole.[~ + object (+ up)]to wall a hole up.
- Idioms, Slang Termsclimb the walls, [Informal.]to be overly excited, nervous, worried, or frantic.
- Idiomsdrive or push to the wall, [drive/push + object + to + the + ~] to force into a desperate situation.
- drive or send up the wall, [drive/send + object + up + the + ~][Informal.]to push into a state of frantic frustration:She drove her father up the wall staying out late on dates.
- Idiomsgo to the wall:
- to be defeated;
- to fail in business;
be forced into bankruptcy.
- to risk one's own position to defend or protect another.
- Idioms, Slang Termsoff the wall, [Slang.]
- very strange;
bizarre:That idea is completely off the wall.
(wôl),USA pronunciation n.
- Building, Architectureany of various permanent upright constructions having a length much greater than the thickness and presenting a continuous surface except where pierced by doors, windows, etc.: used for shelter, protection, or privacy, or to subdivide interior space, to support floors, roofs, or the like, to retain earth, to fence in an area, etc.
- MilitaryUsually, walls. a rampart raised for defensive purposes.
- an immaterial or intangible barrier, obstruction, etc., suggesting a wall:a wall of prejudice.
- a wall-like, enclosing part, thing, mass, etc.:a wall of fire; a wall of troops.
- Civil Engineeringan embankment to prevent flooding, as a levee or sea wall.
- Place Names, World Historythe Wall. See Berlin Wall.
- the outermost film or layer of structural material protecting, surrounding, and defining the physical limits of an object:the wall of a blood cell.
- Miningthe side of a level or drift.
- Miningthe overhanging or underlying side of a vein;
a hanging wall or footwall.
- Slang Termsclimb the walls or climb walls, to become tense or frantic:climbing the walls with boredom.
- drive or push to the wall, to force into a desperate situation;
humiliate or ruin completely:Not content with merely winning the match, they used every opportunity to push the inferior team to the wall.
- Slang Termsgo over the wall, to break out of prison:Roadblocks have been set up in an effort to capture several convicts who went over the wall.
- go to the wall:
- to be defeated in a conflict or competition;
- to fail in business, esp. to become bankrupt.
- to be put aside or forgotten.
- to take an extreme and determined position or measure:I'd go to the wall to stop him from resigning.
- Medicine, Sporthit the wall, (of long-distance runners) to reach a point in a race, usually after 20 miles, when the body's fuels are virtually depleted and willpower becomes crucial to be able to finish.
- Slang Termsoff the wall:
- beyond the realm of acceptability or reasonableness:The figure you quoted for doing the work is off the wall.
- markedly out of the ordinary;
bizarre:Some of the clothes in the fashion show were too off the wall for the average customer.
- up against the wall:
- placed against a wall to be executed by a firing squad.
- in a crucial or critical position, esp. one in which defeat or failure seems imminent:Unless sales improve next month, the company will be up against the wall.
- Slang Termsup the wall, into an acutely frantic, frustrated, or irritated state:The constant tension in the office is driving everyone up the wall.
- of or pertaining to a wall:wall space.
- growing against or on a wall:wall plants; wall cress.
- situated, placed, or installed in or on a wall:wall oven; a wall safe.
- to enclose, shut off, divide, protect, border, etc., with or as if with a wall (often fol. by in or off):to wall the yard;to wall in the play area;He is walled in by lack of opportunity.
- to seal or fill (a doorway or other opening) with a wall:to wall an unused entrance.
- to seal or entomb (something or someone) within a wall (usually fol. by up):The workmen had walled up the cat quite by mistake.
- Latin vallum palisade, derivative of vallus stake, post; see wale1; (verb, verbal) Middle English, derivative of the noun, nominal
- bef. 900; (noun, nominal) Middle English; Old English w(e)all
- 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged battlement, breastwork, bulwark, barrier, bastion.
- 5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged dike.
- 22.See corresponding entry in Unabridged immure.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
wall /wɔːl/ n
- a vertical construction made of stone, brick, wood, etc, with a length and height much greater than its thickness, used to enclose, divide, or support
- (as modifier): wall hangings
Related adjective(s): mural
- (often plural) a structure or rampart built to protect and surround a position or place for defensive purposes
- any lining, membrane, or investing part that encloses or bounds a bodily cavity or structure: abdominal wall
Technical name: paries
Related adjective(s): parietal
- a vertical or almost vertical smooth rock face
- anything that suggests a wall in function or effect: a wall of fire, a wall of prejudice
- bang one's head against a brick wall ⇒ to try to achieve something impossible
- drive to the wall, push to the wall ⇒ to force into an awkward situation
- go to the wall ⇒ to be ruined; collapse financially
- drive up the wall ⇒ slang to cause to become crazy or furious
- go up the wall ⇒ slang to become crazy or furious
- have one's back to the wall ⇒ to be in a very difficult situation
Etymology: Old English weall, from Latin vallum palisade, from vallus stakewalled adj ˈwall-less adj
- to protect, provide, or confine with or as if with a wall
- (often followed by up) to block (an opening) with a wall
- often followed by in or up: to seal by or within a wall or walls
'wall' also found in these entries (note: many are not synonyms or translations):