9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[tawl] /tɔl/
adjective, taller, tallest.
having a relatively great height; of more than average stature:
a tall woman; tall grass.
having stature or height as specified:
a man six feet tall.
large in amount or degree; considerable:
a tall price; Swinging that deal is a tall order.
extravagant; difficult to believe:
a tall tale.
high-flown; grandiloquent:
He engages in so much tall talk, one never really knows what he's saying.
having more than usual length; long and relatively narrow:
He carried a tall walking stick.
Archaic. valiant.
  1. seemly; proper.
  2. fine; handsome.
in a proud, confident, or erect manner:
to stand tall; to walk tall.
Origin of tall
before 1000; Middle English: big, bold, comely, proper, ready, Old English getæl (plural getale) quick, ready, competent; cognate with Old High German gizal quick
Related forms
tallness, noun
2. See high.
1. short. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tall
  • But a bank will finance the project only if the developer manages to sell a high percentage of the units upfront, a tall order.
  • He is more than six feet tall and in the past three years has gone from shoulder-length hair to a shaved head.
  • He is unusually tall for a pianist, with a high brow and a loping stride.
  • So planting trees or tall shrubs to give them the desired screening wasn't a viable option.
  • And tall pots make it easier for gardeners with limited mobility to tend crops without kneeling or squatting.
  • The roughly three-foot-tall robots can maneuver, recognize speech, and display facial gestures as they broadcast audio.
  • They began to walk along a narrow brick sidewalk between the cracks of which tall weeds grew.
  • When she awoke refreshed with sleep, she looked round and beheld near by a pleasant grove of tall and stately trees.
  • She was not tall, but her slender and elastic figure made her appear so.
  • Surrounded by lesser figures, the striking specter nearly eight feet tall shimmers on the canyon wall under the relentless sun.
British Dictionary definitions for tall


of more than average height
  1. (postpositive) having a specified height: a woman five feet tall
  2. (in combination): a twenty-foot-tall partition
(informal) exaggerated or incredible: a tall story
(informal) difficult to accomplish: a tall order
an archaic word for excellent
Derived Forms
tallness, noun
Word Origin
C14 (in the sense: big, comely, valiant); related to Old English getæl prompt, Old High German gizal quick, Gothic untals foolish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tall

"high in stature," 1520s, probably ultimately from Old English getæl "prompt, active." Sense evolved to "brave, valiant, seemly, proper" (late 14c.), then to "attractive, handsome" (mid-15c.), and finally "being of more than average height." The Old English word is related to Old High German gi-zal "quick," Gothic un-tals "indocile."

Sense evolution is remarkable, but adjectives applied to persons often mutate quickly in meaning (e.g. pretty, buxom, German klein "small, little," which in Middle High German meant the same as its English cognate clean). Meaning "exaggerated" (as in tall tale) is American English colloquial attested by 1846. Phrase tall, dark, and handsome is recorded from 1906.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for tall

talk until one is blue in the face

verb phrase

To talk forever, but with nobody listening: talk till you are blue in the face, but no one is changing their mind

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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tall in Technology

TAC List Language.
["TALL - A List Processor for the Philco 2000", J. Feldman, CACM 5(9):484-485 (Sep 1962)].

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Idioms and Phrases with tall


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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