Share this entry

Share this page

tall

Line breaks: tall
Pronunciation: /tɔːl
 
/

Definition of tall in English:

adjective

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.
Synonyms
big, high, large, huge, towering;
colossal, gigantic, giant, monstrous, giant-size, Brobdingnagian;
lanky, rangy, gangling, leggy, long-legged
informal long
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.
Synonyms
in height, high, from head to toe/foot

Origin

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

Phrases

a tall order

1
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.
Synonyms
demanding, exacting, difficult, unreasonable, exorbitant, impossible

a tall story (or tale)

2
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?
Synonyms
unlikely, improbable, exaggerated, far-fetched, implausible, dubious, overblown, unbelievable, incredible, preposterous, outrageous, absurd;
embroidered, dishonest, untrue
informal cock and bull

walk (or stand) tall

3
Be proud and confident: stop wishing that you were somehow differentstart 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.

Derivatives

tallish

1
adjective
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.

tallness

2
noun
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.

Definition of tall in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day sacerdotal
Pronunciation: ˌsasəˈdəʊt(ə)l
adjective
relating to priests or the priesthood; priestly