Definition of tall in English:

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Pronunciation: /tɔːl/


1Of great or more than average height, especially (with reference to an object) relative to width: a tall, broad-shouldered man a tall glass of iced tea
More example sentences
  • He stood up to offer a handshake, revealing that he was a tall man, of average but sufficient build.
  • Pour the Pimm's into a tall glass and add the lemon, cucumber and strawberries.
  • Water will trickle audibly here and there, and there'll be the gentle swish of bamboo and tall grasses.
big, high, large, huge, towering;
colossal, gigantic, giant, monstrous, giant-size, Brobdingnagian;
lanky, rangy, gangling, leggy, long-legged
informal long
high, big, lofty, towering, soaring, elevated, sky-high, sky-scraping;
1.1(After a measurement and in questions) measuring a specified distance from top to bottom: he was over six feet tall how tall are you?
More example sentences
  • He says you must stand back and look at the tree from a distance to get an idea how tall it is.
  • A tribe of pygmies from the Grasslands of Africa, the Fukawi grow to a height of 4 feet tall.
  • The steel glasses were 3 feet tall and you wonder how all of it fit into one person.
in height, high, from head to toe/foot



a tall order

An unreasonable or difficult demand: they thought that the deadline was a tall order
More example sentences
  • It's a bit of a tall order to offer a fully formed alternative view of the world, but we can at least throw up some positive ideas for discussion.
  • It's a tall order, but one of the most straightforward and effective ways to achieve that goal is through education.
  • Making a decent sequel was always going to be a tall order.
demanding, exacting, difficult, unreasonable, exorbitant, impossible

a tall story (or tale)

An account that is fanciful and difficult to believe: he would regale me with some of his tall stories
More example sentences
  • He could make you hear his sly smile, he could make you cry at a sad story, he could make you believe a tall tale.
  • It may sound like a tall tale but a Keighley museum has come to the rescue after an Isle of Man exhibition was unable to find any stuffed Manx cats to display - despite the cats originating on the island several hundred years ago.
  • I can't find any info, is this just a tall tale or is it true?
unlikely, improbable, exaggerated, far-fetched, implausible, dubious, overblown, unbelievable, incredible, preposterous, outrageous, absurd;
embroidered, dishonest, untrue
informal cock and bull

walk (or stand) tall

Be proud and confident: stop wishing that you were somehow different—start to walk tall!
More example sentences
  • Yet, if he survives the challenges at hand, his political stature will be increased dramatically, and he'll be able to walk tall, proud of his achievements.
  • How are you supposed to be confident and walk tall if you are too tired to even hold your eyelids open?
  • His walk was different too; not too obvious to a glance, but Tommy walked tall and proud; like a man who was not a prisoner but one who had everything under control.



Pronunciation: /ˈtɔːlɪʃ/
Example sentences
  • The ornamental verbena, sometimes also known as vervain, refers to (among others) Verbena bonariensis, the purple topped tallish plant that has colonised roadways and pasture throughout Australia.
  • The practice in question is the growing of goldenrod, a tallish native weed with feathery yellow plumes.
  • He was a tallish man with rustic brown hair and twinkling blue eyes.


Pronunciation: /ˈtɔːlnəs/
Example sentences
  • The medication cannot be accepted as safe for children until it is known that added tallness will not be associated with some defect of development somewhere in the body.
  • The voice, for example, stays high-pitched, the body develops a rounded contour, and the loss of hormones produces an unusual tallness and also prevents the skin from tanning.
  • He tended to scare off little kids with his tallness, burliness and rareness to smile, but inside he was a nice man.


Late Middle English: probably from Old English getæl 'swift, prompt'. Early senses also included 'fine, handsome' and 'bold, strong, good at fighting'.

  • Some words have undergone remarkable changes in meaning over the centuries. One such is tall. In medieval times it was used in such senses as ‘quick’, ‘handsome’, and ‘good at fighting’, as in Sir Walter Scott's reference to ‘the ‘ “tall men”, or champions, of Wales’. Only in the 16th century did the sense ‘of more than average height’ appear. A privileged or distinguished person may be referred to as a tall poppy. This goes back to a story about the Roman tyrant Tarquin, who is said to have struck off the heads of a row of poppies in a gruesomely graphic demonstration of the way in which the important men of a captured city should be treated. Since the early 1980s, originally in Australia, the expression tall poppy syndrome has been used for the tendency to criticize people who have become rich, famous, or socially prominent.

Words that rhyme with tall

all, appal (US appall), awl, Bacall, ball, bawl, befall, Bengal, brawl, call, caul, crawl, Donegal, drawl, drywall, enthral (US enthrall), fall, forestall, gall, Galle, Gaul, hall, haul, maul, miaul, miscall, Montreal, Naipaul, Nepal, orle, pall, Paul, pawl, Saul, schorl, scrawl, seawall, Senegal, shawl, small, sprawl, squall, stall, stonewall, thrall, trawl, wall, waul, wherewithal, withal, yawl

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tall

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