: a large building or group of buildings containing a variety of shops
: a public area for pedestrians
Word History of MALL
In Italy in the 1500s a popular game similar to croquet was known as pallamaglio, from palla, “ball,” and maglio, “mallet.” The game (and word) was adopted by the French as pallemalle and in the 1600s by the English as pall-mall. The alley on which the game was played came to be known as a mall. One of the best known of these alleys, covered with sand and crushed shells, was located in London's St. James Park and was known as “The Mall.” After the game lost favor, the Mall at St. James, as it continued to be called, was turned into a fashionable walkway with trees and flowers. Similar open-air places came to be called malls also. In the 20th century the word was applied to other public spaces, including the shopping complexes we now know as malls.