\ 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 The exterior wall, and often the inside as well, of the new Vineyard home is cedar, sometimes yellow, mostly red, and sometimes vertically applied, mostly shingled. BostonGlobe.com, 6 June 2021 The black wall features a neon sign with the company’s logo and signature of important people who come through the doors. Emma Reynolds, Forbes, 4 June 2021 Here's one wall that may, in fact, actually get built. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, 3 June 2021 Soon after the plane took off, a towering wall of smoke appeared on the horizon. Ben Weissenbach, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 June 2021 The second and more prominent wall, of course, was the Supreme Court, which needed about three seconds to decide that Trump’s accountants did indeed have to turn over his tax returns to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 1 June 2021 The following day, another parking garage gate was broken and steps and a wall were spray-painted, according to police. Pioneer Press Staff, chicagotribune.com, 1 June 2021 In August, authorities in Victoria state opted against prosecuting police officers over the death of Tanya Day — who hit her head on the concrete wall of a jail cell — despite a coroner finding that her death was preventable. Washington Post, 28 May 2021 The entire wall of the living space is glass, with sliding doors that open to a limestone patio. Nancy Keates, WSJ, 26 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb By offering a higher rebate to a PBM for a medicine, but especially for a bundle of medicines, a drug maker can wall off rivals from gaining favorable formulary placement. Ed Silverman, STAT, 2 June 2021 The court is considering whether Apple should be allowed to wall off its phones and tablets, only allowing apps to be installed through its App Store. Ewan Spence, Forbes, 22 May 2021 The agency publishes guidelines for companies to improve their cybersecurity, advising them to conduct internal risk assessments, tighten up access to their networks and wall off sections of their systems to slow down attackers who gain entry. David Uberti, WSJ, 13 May 2021 From tabletop treats to wall art, wine gifts, and plush pillows, here are the best Mother’s Day gifts for the home over $100. Amanda Lauren, Forbes, 28 Apr. 2021 Rather than let builders wall off the water, state, and city authorities invoked Chapter 91, also known as the Massachusetts Public Waterfront Act. BostonGlobe.com, 28 Apr. 2021 Ten months later, the My Texas House line launched on March 1 with 34 products ranging from decorative pillows to wall art to curtains. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, 5 Apr. 2021 Biden immediately sought to wall off her other high-profile job at the White House from her work at the community college once her husband was in office. Bo Erickson, CBS News, 31 Mar. 2021 But in the past year, California hasn’t been able to wall itself forever against surges of COVID-19 that appear elsewhere in the country. Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 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

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wall.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wall. Accessed 13 Jun. 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


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