Meaning of tall in English:


Pronunciation /tɔːl/

See synonyms for tall

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  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With no tall buildings nearby to obstruct your sight, you can see for miles around.’
    • ‘He looked like he needed a nap and a tall glass of ice water, but that would have to wait.’
    • ‘Add the juice of an orange if you like and serve in tall glasses with ice cubes.’
    • ‘Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?’
    • ‘Nearby will be a tall transparent wall of glass sited in a reflecting pool and illuminated with blue light.’
    • ‘The grass was tall enough to hide a horse and waved in the breeze like a wind-roiled sea.’
    • ‘The bar, just big enough for four or five people, was in a tall, thin building at the top of a narrow staircase.’
    • ‘Climbing to the top of a tall building, a hill, or a church tower is a great way to get a feel for a place.’
    • ‘In his right hand was a plate of food and in the other a tall glass of orange juice.’
    • ‘The elevator came to a stop and the doors slid open, revealing the sixth floor of the tall building.’
    • ‘The area consists of luxuriant growth of tall grasses with scattered growth of deciduous forest trees.’
    • ‘Avoid any mixture containing bentgrass or tall fescue or more than 15 percent ryegrass.’
    • ‘He saw a tall willow tree, and decided to rest in its shade.’
    • ‘Mychael found herself in a tall tower - one of many in the castle.’
    • ‘Apart from Damian, there is no one I would not trust to hold the bottom of a tall ladder or to own a weapon.’
    • ‘There was no one there, except for a tall figure standing by in the distance.’
    • ‘They all looked to see a tall pillar of smoke rising in the not-too distant distance.’
    big, high, large, huge, towering
    high, big, lofty, towering, soaring, elevated, sky-high, sky-scraping
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    1. 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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was six feet tall with a lean build and wavy blonde hair.’
      • ‘He seemed to be pretty tall for his age, probably around 5 ' 9".’
      • ‘Heather is approximately 4ft 6in tall with a slim build, hazel eyes and long brown hair.’
      • ‘The 4ft 5in tall boy was disqualified from driving following a motoring offence in December last year.’
      • ‘He is about 1.5 metres tall with big brown eyes and curly jet-black hair.’
      • ‘In 1999 we constructed a small prototype of this clock, approximately two meters tall.’
      • ‘They were not as short as I would have thought, around 1.2 meters tall.’
      • ‘The warm water felt good, and waves were up to two meters tall.’
      • ‘At the age of seventeen, he was already almost two hundred centimeters tall.’
      • ‘They stand about two feet tall at the shoulder and typically weigh around 100 pounds.’
      • ‘Individuals may be 1-1.4 m tall at the shoulders.’
      • ‘The other one was a couple of inches taller with dark hair.’
      • ‘She is white, 5ft 4in tall with a large build, short grey hair and blue eyes.’
      • ‘Only around ten centimeters taller than him, the older kid looked fairly nasty.’
      • ‘He is described as about 6ft tall, medium to thin build, with black and shaven hair.’
      • ‘The third is described as six feet tall, in his mid-twenties with short dark hair and possibly a moustache.’
      • ‘One of the youths is described as about 6ft tall with ginger hair and wearing a light blue top.’
      in height, high, from head to foot, from head to toe
      View synonyms


    a tall order
    • An unreasonable or difficult demand.

      ‘they thought that the deadline was a tall order’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘While you may be able to manage for three to six months without a specific employee, one or two years is invariably a tall order.’
      • ‘It needs a 4% per month hike in freight traffic to start making money and that's a tall order.’
      • ‘It's a tall order, but no one could accuse Williams of not trying.’
      • ‘The title sounds like a tall order, particularly coming from someone who has never made a country album.’
      • ‘Making the step-up to inter-county football after an absence of two years is a tall order.’
      • ‘Flowing football was always going to be a tall order on a heavy Home Park pitch that was still being sanded right up to kick-off.’
      • ‘Keeping on top of the washing-up without a dishwasher is a tall order, says manager Sue Hargreaves.’
    a tall tale
    • An account that is fanciful and difficult to believe.

      ‘speakers delighted the audience with true stories and tall tales’
      • ‘he would regale me with some of his tall stories’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘The story, with the structure of a tall tale and the scenery of historical horror, does not give a moral or a resolution.’
      • ‘We argued whether Grandpa Cody's stories about him being a knight back in the old days was true or was a tall tale.’
      • ‘O'Reilly claimed his story was a compilation of tall tales told by real cowboys, but this seems itself a tall tale: oral historians are unconvinced that Pecos Bill is anything but a media creation.’
      • ‘That's a tall tale - with no foundation in reality!’
      • ‘The old sailors, diggers and airmen treated the younger generation to a few yarns and perhaps a tall tale or two, with their mates alongside recalling the same events as if they were yesterday.’
      • ‘When it comes to flamethrowers, after all, it's hard to figure out what's the truth and what's a tall tale.’
      • ‘Throughout the film, the commodore repeats a tall tale about his exploits as an Indian fighter.’
      • ‘Assuming this is a tall tale made up to lend an air of mystery to an otherwise innocuous eBay sale it is still a clever bit of advertising.’
    stand tall
    • Be proud and confident.

      ‘you must stand tall in this dark hour’
      • ‘stop wishing that you were somehow different—start to walk tall!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Madala was dressed in the full regalia of a captain, and walked tall and proud, hand on her sword hilt, and the other gripping her pike.’
      • ‘Abe, Bart, and Cody stood tall and proud as they dared the Governor or Milton to stared yelling at them.’
      • ‘He stood tall and confident, a smile radiating through his features and hair unkempt but it suited him.’
      • ‘She had a look of sheer determination in her eyes, and stood tall and proud, unsmiling.’
      • ‘He stood tall and proud, he had definitely seen his fair share of action.’
      • ‘The man who started his working life as a teacher before joining Bobby Robson's staff at Porto and Barcelona as, first interpreter, then coach, now stands tall, and characteristically proud, as one of the best in the business.’
      • ‘Two men joined him, wiping their foreheads, but still standing tall and proud under their heavy layered uniforms.’


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