\ ˈel How to pronounce ell (audio) \

Definition of ell

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a former English unit of length (as for cloth) equal to 45 inches (about 1.14 meters) also : any of various units of length used similarly

Definition of ell (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an extension at right angles to the length of a building
2 : an elbow in a pipe or conduit

First Known Use of ell

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1773, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ell

Noun (1)

Middle English eln, from Old English; akin to Old High German elina ell, Latin ulna forearm, Greek ōlenē elbow, Sanskrit aratni

Noun (2)

alteration of el entry 1

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Time Traveler for ell

Time Traveler

The first known use of ell was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Ell.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ell. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on ell

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ell

Britannica English: Translation of ell for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ell

Comments on ell

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a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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