\ ˈwȯl How to pronounce wall (audio) \

Definition of wall

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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)
2 : one of the sides of a room or building connecting floor and ceiling or foundation and roof
3 : the side of a footpath next to buildings
4 : an extreme or desperate position or a state of defeat, failure, or ruin the surrounded troops had their backs against the wall
5 : a material layer enclosing space the wall of a container heart walls
6 : 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
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


verb (1)
walled; walling; walls

Definition of wall (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : 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
2a : immure walled the monster up within the tomb— E. A. Poe
b : to close (an opening) with or as if with a wall


verb (2)
walled; walling; walls

Definition of wall (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

of the eyes : to roll in a dramatic manner

transitive verb

: to roll (one's eyes) in a dramatic manner

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Other Words from wall


wall-like \ ˈwȯl-​ˌlīk How to pronounce wall (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for wall

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of wall in a Sentence

Noun A stone wall marks off their property. the Great Wall of China the walls of the ancient city She hung posters on the walls of her room. This apartment building has thin walls, and you can hear everything your neighbors say. Muscles in the abdominal wall help protect organs.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Last week’s debacle against the Indianapolis Colts was a speed bump for the Ravens defense, not a case of the team hitting the wall. Mike Preston, baltimoresun.com, 18 Oct. 2021 Although white remains the key bathroom color, an accent wall adds a distinguishing color or texture. oregonlive, 17 Oct. 2021 There are dozens of photos on the wall above her desk — of her two boys (11 and 13 years old); of her late husband, Dr. Rakesh Mishra, who died of cancer just months before the shutdown; of a small, tawny mutt named Frodo, who passed not long after. Ryan Kost, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Oct. 2021 The wooden fence is in the front and the concrete wall in the back and on the sides. Susannah Bryan, sun-sentinel.com, 17 Oct. 2021 Republicans have blamed the dramatic changes in policy, including the ending of border wall construction, for the surge in migration. Talia Kaplan, Fox News, 17 Oct. 2021 The film centered on Alex Honnold, a world-renowned athlete who was attempting to scale Yosemite’s 3,000-foot El Capitan rock wall using only his hands and feet. Los Angeles Times, 16 Oct. 2021 Linda's picture hung on the wall of the Newport Beach P.D. cold case unit and generations of investigators had never forgotten her name. CBS News, 16 Oct. 2021 Plug-and-play outfielder Chris Taylor at the windy wall there. San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb President Donald Trump tried to wall off the country from immigrants with physical barricades across borderlands and directives that separated migrant children from parents. Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2021 DeGuerin also repeatedly sought to undercut the prosecution’s theory of the crime Monday: that Durst killed Berman to wall off a resurgent investigation into the 1982 disappearance of his wife, Kathleen. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, 16 Aug. 2021 After the Environmental Protection Agency found high levels of arsenic and lead in soil near the Garland school, district officials hired a company to put up fencing, beginning on July 23, to wall off contaminated areas, including the garden. Dallas News, 30 July 2021 The Congolese government revealed that a mining permit had been granted to Congo Dongfang, which would remove the topsoil and then wall off what had once been the neighborhood. Nicolas Niarchos, The New Yorker, 24 May 2021 Not to mention, there's a shop filled with everything from books and planters to wall art and apparel. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, 8 July 2021 Lawmakers must soon consider whether to spend $26 billion to wall off the area around Houston. Matt Simon, Wired, 14 July 2021 He's also dropped his insistence that the bill must be funded with a hike in corporate taxes as the GOP seeks to wall off the Trump White House's tax reform law. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 24 June 2021 Business owners could use their streets and sidewalks to welcome their neighbors, or to wall themselves off from them. New York Times, 29 June 2021

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

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First Known Use of wall


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for 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

Verb (2)

Middle English (Scots) wawlen, probably from Middle English wawil- (in wawil-eghed walleyed)

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Time Traveler for wall

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wall

Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wall.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wall. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for wall



English Language Learners Definition of wall

: 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)


\ ˈwȯl How to pronounce wall (audio) \

Kids Definition of wall

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one of the sides of a room or building
2 : a solid structure (as of stone) built to enclose or shut off a space The property is surrounded by a brick wall.
3 : something that separates one thing from another a wall of mountains
4 : a layer of material enclosing space the heart wall the wall of a pipe

Other Words from wall

walled \ ˈwȯld \ adjective


walled; walling

Kids Definition of wall (Entry 2 of 2)

: to build or have a wall in or around


\ ˈwȯl How to pronounce wall (audio) \

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

Other Words from wall

walled \ ˈwȯld How to pronounce wall (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on wall

Nglish: Translation of wall for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wall for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wall


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