\ 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
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
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

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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 Additional names have been added to the wall before, including hundreds during Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Senators want defense secretary’s support in adding “Lost 74” sailors to Vietnam Memorial," 17 Feb. 2020 There is often an equity issue in who gets caught up in special-counsel probes — and nailed to the wall for offenses that others get away with — and who does not. The Editors, National Review, "Bill Barr Is Right about Trump’s Tweets," 14 Feb. 2020 Witnesses statements said he then tucked the girl under his right arm, which one employee likened to a sack of potatoes, and carried her to an opposite wall in the cafeteria. Kelli Weir, USA TODAY, "Ohio school security employee fired for excessive force on kindergartner," 13 Feb. 2020 Imagine pushing your butt back to the wall behind you, says Gentilcore. Christa Sgobba, SELF, "How to Do a Single-Leg Deadlift Without Falling on Your Face," 11 Feb. 2020 The work comprises 52 elements plastered in large panels affixed to the wall and it must be carefully removed for transport. Melissa Yeager, azcentral, "Sky Harbor's Terminal 2 is closed. What happens next? Here's what we know," 6 Feb. 2020 Buy a few Billy bookshelves from Ikea and anchor them flush to the wall. Samantha Weiss-hills, House Beautiful, "The Designer’s Guide to Shelving," 5 Feb. 2020 Midway up a multi-pitch climb in Colorado last year, a storm pinned me and my climbing partners to the wall. The Editors, Outside Online, "The Gear We Used the Most Last Year," 31 Jan. 2020 The construction in Calexico is part of a project to replace 11 miles of border barrier in the area, similar to the wall in San Diego, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Fox News, "Border wall section under construction falls over amid high winds in California," 31 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Guards Matt Coleman, Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones were repeatedly walled off on any attempted drives to the rim. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Morgantown meltdown: Texas suffers embarrassing defeat to West Virginia," 20 Jan. 2020 Rather than building its own exclusive walled garden, Fitbit is keeping its products affordable and reaching out to the apps, designers and doctors that you, the potential user, already love. Adrienne So, WIRED, "Fitbit Wants to Be Your One-Stop Health Care Shop," 28 Aug. 2019 In fact, folks on Instagram are creating their own clipboard walls not just for organization, but also as a method of displaying art. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "DIY Clipboard Walls Are the Trendy Way to Display Art and Keep Papers Organized," 3 Jan. 2020 Throughout American history, religious groups have walled themselves off from the rhythms and mores of society. Emma Green, The Atlantic, "The Christian Withdrawal Experiment," 12 Dec. 2019 And in a freshly walled-off space beside it, under the same owner, sits Rice Street Tobacco. Tad Vezner, Twin Cities, "Demand for menthol cigarettes drives increase in St. Paul smoke shops since city restrictions," 1 Dec. 2019 Adding to the grandeur of the Grounds are Jefferson’s serpentine walled gardens tucked behind each of the 10 pavilions. Susan O'keefe, National Geographic, "How to see the Virginia Piedmont? Just follow Thomas Jefferson," 29 Nov. 2019 Now, containers are individually welded and double walled, with an outer wall designed to regulate pressure and prevent release of radioactivity and an inner wall with another pressure indicator. Scott Sonner, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Has tech made moving nukes safe enough? Depends whom you ask," 14 Oct. 2019 View Sample Sign Up Now Hopper had clearly walled off his emotions following the death of his daughter. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "Let's Talk About the Meaning Behind This Heartbreaking Stranger Things Season 3 Reference," 23 July 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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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

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wall.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wall. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for wall


How to pronounce wall (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wall

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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