adjective \ ˈtȯl \
Updated on: 21 Feb 2018

Definition of tall

1 a : high in stature
b : of a specified height
  • five feet tall
2 a : of considerable height
  • tall trees
b : long from bottom to top
  • a tall book
c : of a higher growing variety or species of plant
3 a : large or formidable in amount, extent, or degree
  • a tall order to fill
b : pompous, high-flown
  • tall talk about the vast mysteries of life
  • —W. A. White
c : highly exaggerated : incredible, improbable
  • a tall story
4 obsolete : brave, courageous




play \ˈtȯ-lish\ adjective


play \ˈtȯl-nəs\ noun

Examples of tall in a Sentence

  1. All the children in my family grew up to be very tall.

  2. My mother is short but my father is fairly tall.

  3. The giraffe is the tallest animal.

  4. The drinks were served in tall glasses.

  5. She is five feet tall.

Recent Examples of tall from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tall.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of tall

Middle English tal, probably from Old English getæl quick, ready; akin to Old High German gizal quick

Synonym Discussion of tall

high, tall, lofty mean above the average in height. high implies marked extension upward and is applied chiefly to things which rise from a base or foundation or are placed at a conspicuous height above a lower level.
    • a high hill
    • a high ceiling
tall applies to what grows or rises high by comparison with others of its kind and usually implies relative narrowness.
    • a tall thin man
lofty suggests great or imposing altitude.
    • lofty mountain peaks

TALL Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of tall for English Language Learners

  • : greater in height than the average person, building, etc.

  • : having a specified height

TALL Defined for Kids



adjective \ ˈtȯl \

Definition of tall for Students

taller; tallest
1 : having unusually great height
2 : of a stated height
  • ten feet tall
3 : made up
  • a tall tale






Definition of tall for Students

: so as to be or look tall
  • Stand tall and straight.

Seen and Heard

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