\ 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-like (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for wall

Synonyms: Noun

barricade, barrier, fence, hedge

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Examples of wall in a Sentence


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

Willson Contreras hit a single, Victor Caratini was hit by a pitch and Jason Heyward lined an RBI double to the center-field wall for a 4-2 lead. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Reds officially eliminated from the postseason after loss to Chicago Cubs," 16 Sep. 2019 Instead, Swift and Smith helped him to the van, which is set up with a few seats bolted to the wall and a wide space on the floor, where Linc lay down. oregonlive, "Portland aims to dispatch better first responders for homelessness calls," 14 Sep. 2019 But bouncing off the walls wasn’t Julia’s only trick. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "The Blazing Path and Legacy of Raul Julia," 13 Sep. 2019 Inside the Avalanche dressing room, nameplates of the team’s all-time greats — from Patrick Roy to Peter Forsberg – have been affixed to the wall above locker stalls, as a reminder of a proud championship tradition. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: If Avs want to be legit Stanley Cup contenders, here’s one detail they must sweat every night of season," 12 Sep. 2019 That is, fasten plywood to wall framing and the header above the window. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Homeowner's Last-Minute Hurricane Prep Checklist," 3 Sep. 2019 Articles about the news industry are pinned to the wall. Jordyn Grzelewski, cleveland.com, "What comes next? End of Vindicator’s 150-year run adds to uncertainty in Youngstown," 1 Sep. 2019 Gibson’s name was highlighted by an arrow pasted to the wall. Jerry Fallstrom, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida group’s Global War On Terrorism Wall honors vets who made ultimate sacrifice," 30 Aug. 2019 In Trump’s case, the wall is a physical barrier stretching from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Great Lie of the Right-Wing Populists," 30 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Lowell's plans for a roof deck were scuttled because cannabis consumption cannot be seen from the street, so smokers must partake in a walled-in garden at street level. Author: Maura Judkis, Anchorage Daily News, "Cannabis restaurants are coming to California, with ‘budtenders’ and ‘flower’ service," 16 Aug. 2019 Wilkins took a handoff with 5:25 left, Mark Glowinski and Jack Doyle walled off the inside, Braden Smith made a key block to the outside and Wilkins saw only green in front of him. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "Back early from surgery, Colts RB Jordan Wilkins breaks open win over Titans in home state," 16 Sep. 2019 Controlling a game is about walling off the basket, keeping opponents off the glass, and creating space between a ball-handler and the defense. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Top 100 NBA Players of 2020," 12 Sep. 2019 Representatives for Alternative Services-Oregon previously said the board ensured that interested parties were walled off from decisions that affected them, and that company conflict-of-interest polices were followed. Brad Schmidt, oregonlive.com, "Oregon Department of Justice broadens review of nonprofit for adults with developmental disabilities," 2 Aug. 2019 But until now, much of this data has been hard to come by, unavailable online, walled off in academic archives, even discarded by the news media outlets that sponsored it. Steve Kornacki, NBC News, "Journey to power: The history of black voters, 1976 to 2020," 29 July 2019 The internal review is walled off from any criminal investigation of the use of force. oregonlive, "Portland police labor contract: Community coalition calls for public input, changes," 11 Sep. 2019 Apple wants to encourage users to adopt Apple’s payment services and, in doing so, have more difficulty leaving Apple’s walled garden. Jay Peters, The Verge, "Apple’s tap-to-use student IDs let pupils buy food and badge into their dorms," 13 Aug. 2019 In a giant walled courtyard, Khaleesi tricked the Slave Masters of Astapor, freeing the Unsullied army to slaughter and burn them to a crisp with a single Dracarus. Nicolas Stecher, Billboard, "MOGA Festival Returning to 'Game of Thrones' Red City, Drops Lineup With Kenny Dope, Blondish & More," 7 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for wall

Last Updated

17 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for wall

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

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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 walled (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on wall

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wall

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wall

Spanish Central: Translation of wall

Nglish: Translation of wall for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wall for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wall

Comments on wall

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


to fake an opponent out of position

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