stall / stôl/ • n. 1. a stand, booth, or compartment for the sale of goods in a market or large covered area: fruit and vegetable stalls.2. an individual compartment for an animal in a stable or barn, enclosed on three sides. ∎ a stable. ∎ a marked-out parking space for a vehicle. ∎ a compartment for one person in a shower room, toilet, or similar facility.3. a fixed seat in the choir or chancel of a church, more or less enclosed at the back and sides and often canopied, typically reserved for a particular member of the clergy.4. (stalls) Brit. the seats on the ground floor in a theater.5. an instance of an engine, vehicle, aircraft, or boat stalling: speed must be maintained to avoid a stall and loss of control.• v. 1. [intr.] (of a motor vehicle or its engine) stop running, typically because of an overload on the engine: her car stalled at the crossroads. ∎ (of an aircraft or its pilot) reach a condition where the speed is too low to allow effective operation of the controls. ∎ Sailing have insufficient wind power in the sails to give controlled motion. ∎ [tr.] cause (an engine, vehicle, aircraft, or boat) to stall.2. [intr.] (of a situation or process) stop making progress: his career had stalled, hers taken off. ∎ [tr.] delay, obstruct, or block the progress of (something): the government has stalled the much-needed project. ∎ speak or act in a deliberately vague way in order to gain more time to deal with a question or issue; prevaricate: she was stalling for time. ∎ [tr.] delay or divert (someone) by acting in such a way: stall him until I've had time to take a look.3. [tr.] put or keep (an animal) in a stall, esp. in order to fatten it.
1. Fixed seat in a chancel or choir, one of a number, generally elevated, enclosed at the back and sides, arranged in rows on the north and south sides, and often, in grander churches, surmounted by lofty canopies of tabernacle-work. Seats were often hinged and had misericords on the underside. In larger churches the choir-stalls returned at the west end of each row, parallel to the pulpitum or choir-screen.
2. Theatre-seat in the part of the parquet nearest the stage (orches-tra-stalls).
3. Division in a stable equipped with facilities for feeding and drainage.
F. Bond (1910, 1912, 1913, 1916);
J. Parker (1850)