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 lifeW. A. White
c
: highly exaggerated : incredible, improbable
a tall story
4
obsolete : brave, courageous
tall adverb
tallish adjective
tallness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Example Sentences

All the children in my family grew up to be very tall. My mother is short but my father is fairly tall. The giraffe is the tallest animal. The drinks were served in tall glasses. She is five feet tall.
Recent Examples on the Web When sleet mixes with conditions that would typically cause a thunderstorm — a tall, vertical system that produces thunder and lightening — those conditions can cause thunder sleet. Dallas News, 31 Jan. 2023 According to a digital 3D model of the bird Hume developed based on a skeleton from the Durban Natural Science Museum in South Africa, the dodo once stood around 70 centimeters (2.3 feet) tall and weighed about 15 to 18 kilograms (33 to 39 pounds). Katie Hunt, CNN, 31 Jan. 2023 Alfalfa and Clover: These crops often grow tall enough to stick up through the snow in winter, providing one of the few green food sources available now. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, 31 Jan. 2023 Carmen McMinn donned the famous tall top hat of Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States. Staff Reports, cleveland, 30 Jan. 2023 The object is only 6 millimeters (or less than a quarter inch) in diameter and 8 millimeters (less than a third of an inch) tall — about the same size as an Australian 10-cent piece, according to DFES. Tracey Harrington Mccoy, Peoplemag, 30 Jan. 2023 The passenger in the BMW was described as a man in his early 20s, around 6-foot tall, svelt and wearing grey shorts, a black jacket and a blue du-rag, police said. Mike Mavredakis, Hartford Courant, 30 Jan. 2023 Help your garden grow tall with supportive cages, which lift plants off the ground and give you more space to harvest. Alyssa Gautieri, Good Housekeeping, 30 Jan. 2023 Then, a month later, another of similar magnitude struck not far away, near Odessa and Midland, twin oil country cities with relatively tall office buildings, some of them visible for miles around. J. David Goodman, New York Times, 28 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Time Traveler
The first known use of tall was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near tall

Cite this Entry

“Tall.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tall. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

tall

adjective
1
a
: having unusually great height
b
: of a specified height
five feet tall
2
a
: large in amount, extent, or degree
a tall order to fill
b
: greatly exaggerated : improbable
a tall tale
tall adverb
tallness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on tall

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