go the wall


any of various permanent upright constructions having a length much greater than the thickness and presenting a continuous surface except where pierced by doors, windows, etc.: used for shelter, protection, or privacy, or to subdivide interior space, to support floors, roofs, or the like, to retain earth, to fence in an area, etc.
Usually, walls. a rampart raised for defensive purposes.
an immaterial or intangible barrier, obstruction, etc., suggesting a wall: a wall of prejudice.
a wall-like, enclosing part, thing, mass, etc.: a wall of fire; a wall of troops.
an embankment to prevent flooding, as a levee or sea wall.
the outermost film or layer of structural material protecting, surrounding, and defining the physical limits of an object: the wall of a blood cell.
the side of a level or drift.
the overhanging or underlying side of a vein; a hanging wall or footwall.
of or pertaining to a wall: wall space.
growing against or on a wall: wall plants; wall cress.
situated, placed, or installed in or on a wall: wall oven; a wall safe.
verb (used with object)
to enclose, shut off, divide, protect, border, etc., with or as if with a wall (often followed by in or off ): to wall the yard; to wall in the play area; He is walled in by lack of opportunity.
to seal or fill (a doorway or other opening) with a wall: to wall an unused entrance.
to seal or entomb (something or someone) within a wall (usually followed by up ): The workmen had walled up the cat quite by mistake.
climb (the) walls, Slang. to become tense or frantic: climbing the walls with boredom.
drive/push to the wall, to force into a desperate situation; humiliate or ruin completely: Not content with merely winning the match, they used every opportunity to push the inferior team to the wall.
go over the wall, Slang. to break out of prison: Roadblocks have been set up in an effort to capture several convicts who went over the wall.
go to the wall,
to be defeated in a conflict or competition; yield.
to fail in business, especially to become bankrupt.
to be put aside or forgotten.
to take an extreme and determined position or measure: I'd go to the wall to stop him from resigning.
hit the wall, (of long-distance runners) to reach a point in a race, usually after 20 miles, when the body's fuels are virtually depleted and willpower becomes crucial to be able to finish.
off the wall, Slang.
beyond the realm of acceptability or reasonableness: The figure you quoted for doing the work is off the wall.
markedly out of the ordinary; eccentric; bizarre: Some of the clothes in the fashion show were too off the wall for the average customer.
up against the wall,
placed against a wall to be executed by a firing squad.
in a crucial or critical position, especially one in which defeat or failure seems imminent: Unless sales improve next month, the company will be up against the wall.
up the wall, Slang. into an acutely frantic, frustrated, or irritated state: The constant tension in the office is driving everyone up the wall.

before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English w(e)all < Latin vallum palisade, derivative of vallus stake, post; see wale1; (v.) Middle English, derivative of the noun

wall-less, adjective
wall-like, adjective
unwall, verb (used with object)

2. battlement, breastwork, bulwark, barrier, bastion. 5. dike. 14. immure.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
wall (wɔːl)
1.  a.  a vertical construction made of stone, brick, wood, etc, with a length and height much greater than its thickness, used to enclose, divide, or support
 b.  (as modifier): wall hangings Related: mural
2.  (often plural) a structure or rampart built to protect and surround a position or place for defensive purposes
3.  anatomy Technical name: paries any lining, membrane, or investing part that encloses or bounds a bodily cavity or structure: abdominal wall Related: parietal
4.  mountaineering a vertical or almost vertical smooth rock face
5.  anything that suggests a wall in function or effect: a wall of fire; a wall of prejudice
6.  bang one's head against a brick wall to try to achieve something impossible
7.  drive to the wall, push to the wall to force into an awkward situation
8.  go to the wall to be ruined; collapse financially
9.  slang drive up the wall to cause to become crazy or furious
10.  slang go up the wall to become crazy or furious
11.  have one's back to the wall to be in a very difficult situation
12.  See off-the-wall
13.  See wall-to-wall
vb (often foll by in or up)
14.  to protect, provide, or confine with or as if with a wall
15.  (often foll by up) to block (an opening) with a wall
16.  to seal by or within a wall or walls
Related: mural, parietal
[Old English weall, from Latin vallum palisade, from vallus stake]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. weall "rampart" (natural as well as man-made), also "defensive fortification around a city, side of a building, interior partition," an Anglo-Frisian and Saxon borrowing (cf. O.S., O.Fris., M.L.G., M.Du. wal) from L. vallum "wall, rampart, row or line of stakes," apparently a collective form of
vallus "stake." Swed. vall, Dan. val are from Low Ger. In this case, Eng. uses one word where many languages have two, e.g. Ger. Mauer "outer wall of a town, fortress, etc.," used also in ref. to the former Berlin Wall, and wand "partition wall within a building" (cf. the distinction, not always rigorously kept, in It. muro/parete, Ir. mur/fraig, Lith. muras/siena, etc.). The verb meaning "to enclose in a wall" is late O.E. *weallian. Wallpaper is attested from 1827. Phrase up the wall "angry, crazy" is from 1951; off the wall "unorthodox, unconventional" is recorded from 1966, Amer.Eng. student slang. Wall-to-wall (adj.) recorded 1953, of carpeting; metaphoric use (usually disparaging) is from 1967.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

wall (wôl)
An investing part enclosing a cavity, chamber, or other anatomical unit.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Bible Dictionary

Wall definition

Cities were surrounded by walls, as distinguished from "unwalled villages" (Ezek. 38:11; Lev. 25:29-34). They were made thick and strong (Num. 13:28; Deut. 3:5). Among the Jews walls were built of stone, some of those in the temple being of great size (1 Kings 6:7; 7:9-12; 20:30; Mark 13:1, 2). The term is used metaphorically of security and safety (Isa. 26:1; 60:18; Rev. 21:12-20). (See FENCE.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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