noun \ˈwl\

: a structure of brick, stone, etc., that surrounds an area or separates one area from another

: the structure that forms the side of a room or building

: the outer layer of something that is hollow (such as a part of the body or of a plant)

Full Definition of WALL

a :  a high thick masonry structure forming a long rampart or an enclosure chiefly for defense —often used in plural
b :  a masonry fence around a garden, park, or estate
c :  a structure that serves to hold back pressure (as of water or sliding earth)
:  one of the sides of a room or building connecting floor and ceiling or foundation and roof
:  the side of a footpath next to buildings
:  an extreme or desperate position or a state of defeat, failure, or ruin <the surrounded troops had their backs against the wall>
:  a material layer enclosing space <the wall of a container> <heart walls>
:  something resembling a wall (as in appearance, function, or effect); especially :  something that acts as a barrier or defense <a wall of reserve> <tariff wall>
wall–like \ˈwl-ˌlīk\ adjective
off the wall
slang :  crazy <the plan was off the wall>
up the wall
slang :  into a state of intense agitation, annoyance, or frustration <the noise drove me up the wall>

Examples of WALL

  1. A stone wall marks off their property.
  2. the Great Wall of China
  3. the walls of the ancient city
  4. She hung posters on the walls of her room.
  5. This apartment building has thin walls, and you can hear everything your neighbors say.
  6. Muscles in the abdominal wall help protect organs.

Origin of WALL

Middle English, from Old English weall; akin to Middle High German wall; both from Latin vallum rampart, from vallus stake, palisade; perhaps akin to Old Norse vǫlr staff — more at wale
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Civil Engineering Terms

asphalt, ballast, barrage, cantilever, infrastructure, sluice



Definition of WALL

transitive verb
a :  to provide, cover with, or surround with or as if with a wall <wall in the garden>
b :  to separate by or as if by a wall <walled off half the house>
a :  immure <walled the monster up within the tomb — E. A. Poe>
b :  to close (an opening) with or as if with a wall

First Known Use of WALL

13th century

Other Building Terms

batten, cistern, hearth, lath, transom, wainscot



Definition of WALL

intransitive verb
of the eyes
:  to roll in a dramatic manner
transitive verb
:  to roll (one's eyes) in a dramatic manner

Origin of WALL

Middle English (Scots) wawlen, probably from Middle English wawil- (in wawil-eghed walleyed)
First Known Use: 15th century


noun \ˈwl\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of WALL

: a structural layer surrounding a cavity, hollow organ, or mass of material <molecules small enough to be absorbed through the intestinal wall—Josie Glausiusz> <muscles of the abdominal wall>
walled \ˈwld\ adjective


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of various upright constructions used to divide or enclose a room or building. In traditional masonry construction, bearing walls supported the weight of floors and roofs, but modern steel and reinforced-concrete frames, as well as heavy timber and other skeletal structures, require exterior walls only for shelter. Some urban buildings dispense with walls on the ground floor, extending outdoor plazas under the building and permitting easier access to elevators, escalators, and stairs. In masonry construction, all types of floors and roofs except domes are most easily supported on straight, parallel walls. Nonbearing walls, used when loads are carried by girders, beams, or other members, can be either curtain walls or infill of brick, block, or other material. See also cavity wall, retaining wall, shear wall.


Next Word in the Dictionary: wallaba
Previous Word in the Dictionary: walky–talky
All Words Near: wall

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up wall? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).