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wall / wôl/ • n. a continuous vertical brick or stone structure that encloses or divides an area of land: a garden wall farmland traversed by drystone walls. ∎  a side of a building or room, typically forming part of the building's structure. ∎  any high vertical surface or facade, esp. one that is imposing in scale: the eastern wall of the valley | fig. a wall of sound. ∎  a thing perceived as a protective or restrictive barrier: a wall of silence. ∎  Soccer a line of defenders forming a barrier against a free kick taken near the penalty area. ∎ short for climbing wall. ∎  Mining the rock enclosing a lode or seam or forming the side of a mine-working. ∎  Anat. & Zool. the membranous outer layer or lining of an organ or cavity: the wall of the stomach. ∎  Biol. see cell wall. • v. [tr.] enclose (an area) within walls, esp. to protect it or lend it some privacy: housing areas that are walled off from the indigenous population. ∎  (wall something up) block or seal a place by building a wall around or across it: one doorway has been walled up. ∎  (wall someone/something in/up) confine or imprison someone or something in a restricted or sealed place: the gray tenements walled in the space completely. PHRASES: between you and me and the wallsee bedpost.drive someone up the wall inf. make someone very irritated or angry.go to the wall inf. 1. (of a business) fail; go out of business. 2. support someone or something, no matter what the cost to oneself: the tendency for poets to go to the wall for their beliefs. hit the wall (of an athlete) experience a sudden loss of energy in a long race.off the wall inf. 1. eccentric or unconventional. 2. (of a person) angry: the president was off the wall about the article. 3. (of an accusation) without basis or foundation. wall-to-wall (of a carpet or other floor covering) fitted to cover an entire floor. ∎ inf. denoting great extent or number: wall-to-wall customers. DERIVATIVES: wall-less adj. ORIGIN: Old English, from Latin vallum ‘rampart,’ from vallus ‘stake.’

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wallall, 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, tall, thrall, trawl, wall, waul, wherewithal, withal, yawl •carryall • blackball • handball •patball • hardball • netball • baseball •paintball • speedball • heelball •meatball • stickball • pinball • spitball •racquetball • basketball • volleyball •eyeball, highball •oddball • softball • mothball •korfball • cornball •lowball, no-ball, snowball •goalball •cueball, screwball •goofball • stoolball • football •puffball • punchball • fireball •rollerball • cannonball • butterball •catchall • bradawl • holdall • Goodall

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wall. Structure of stone, brick, etc., serving to enclose a room, house, or other space, and, in most cases, load-bearing, i.e. supporting the floors, roof, etc. It may also be a screen-wall for privacy or enclosure. Types of wall include:cavity: with an air-gap between two leaves to improve insulation and prevent water-penetration; crinkle-crankle: See crinkle-crankle;hollow: as cavity above, but see brick;partition: wall dividing a space, not usually load-bearing;party: between adjoining properties, usually load-bearing and fire-resistant;retaining: prevents earth from slipping, so used in gardens and in excavations;springing: buttress;sustaining: load-bearing or retaining wall, unlike one serving merely as a partition or screen.


W. McKay (1957)

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wall walls have ears proverbial saying, late 16th century; meaning that care should be taken for possible eavesdroppers. (Compare fields have eyes, and woods have ears at field.)

See also come up against a brick wall, Chinese wall, fly on the wall, Mirror, mirror on the wall at mirror, nail jelly to the wall, the weakest go to the wall, wooden walls.

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Wall ★★★½ Mur 2004

Documentary from veteran filmmaker Simone Bitton. This time she takes on the security fence being erected to divide Israel from the West Bank. Use of the term “wall” gives a hint of the filmmaker's opinion of the security fence. Israeli officials resist the use of any term apart from “fence.” The strength of this documentary is in its balanced view. While showing the wall from many locations it is never clear what side of the wall is being viewed. Ultimately the wall reveals itself as a divider of people and land that neither Israelis nor Palestinians embrace. 98m/C DVD. D: Simone Bitton; W: Simone Bitton; C: Jacques Bouquin.

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wall rampart; defensive structure enclosing a town, etc.; lateral or vertical division of a building. OE. (Angl.) wall, (WS.) weall, corr. to OS., (M)LG., (M)Du. wal — L. vallum rampart, orig. palisading, f. vallus stake. Comp. wallflower plant of the genus Cheiranthus, which grows wild on old walls, etc. XVI.
Hence wall vb. XIII (OE. had ġeweallod walled).

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something that represents a wall in appearance.

Examples: black wall of forest, 1859; wall of fog, 1903; of rock, 1860; of snow, 1697; of soldiers, 1797; of water, 1859.

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