Definition of mall in English:

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Pronunciation: /mal/
Pronunciation: /mɔːl/
Pronunciation: /mɒl/


1 (also shopping mall) chiefly North American A large enclosed shopping area from which traffic is excluded.
Example sentences
  • Once your store is in every mall, how do you get more growth - especially if the chain is narrowly focused to begin with?
  • When you travel around the country you find the same stores in each mall.
  • The Regency area is undergoing a retail rush as developers move to build stores and restaurants north of the mall.
shopping precinct, shopping centre, shopping complex, arcade, galleria;
North American  plaza, strip mall
2A sheltered walk or promenade.
3 historical another term for pall-mall.
3.1An alley used for pall-mall.


Mid 17th century (in sense 3): probably a shortening of pall-mall. sense 2 derives from The Mall, a tree-bordered walk in St James's Park, London, formerly the site of a pall-mall alley. sense 1 dates from the 1960s.

  • The game pall-mall was popular in the 17th century. Players used a mallet to drive a boxwood ball through an iron ring suspended at the end of a long alley, itself also called a pall-mall. The game got its name, via French, from the Italian for ‘ball’ and ‘mallet’. Pall Mall, a street in central London known for its large number of private clubs and formerly a fashionable place to promenade, was originally a pall-mall for the game. From the 18th century other sheltered places for walking came to be called malls—the first reference to a mall for shopping dates from 1950 in the USA. Malleable (Late Middle English) got its name from the same source as mall, for it originally meant ‘able to be hammered’ and goes back, like mallet (Late Middle English) and maul (Middle English), to Latin malleus ‘hammer’.

Words that rhyme with mall

Al, bacchanal, cabal, canal, Chagall, Chantal, chaparral, gal, grand mal, Guadalcanál, Hal, La Salle, Natal, pal, pall-mall, petit mal, sal, shall, Val

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mall

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