Definition of wall noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//wɔːl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɔːl//
    Cell biology
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  1. 1  a long vertical solid structure, made of stone, brick or concrete, that surrounds, divides or protects an area of land The fields were divided by stone walls. He sat on the wall and watched the others playing. see also sea wall
  2. 2  any of the vertical sides of a building or room I'm going to paint the walls white and the ceiling pink. Hang the picture on the wall opposite the window. She leaned against the wall. CollocationsDecorating and home improvementHouses refurbish/​renovate/ (British English) do up a building/​a house convert a building/​house/​room into homes/​offices/(especially North American English) apartments/(British English) flats extend/​enlarge a house/​building/​room/​kitchen build (British English) an extension (to the back/​rear of a house)/(North American English) an addition (on/​to something)/(British English) a conservatory knock down/​demolish a house/​home/​building/​wall knock out/​through the wall separating two roomsDecoration furnish/​paint/ (especially British English) decorate a home/​house/​apartment/​flat/​room be decorated in bright colours/(especially US English) colors/​in a traditional style/​with flowers/​with paintings paint/​plaster the walls/​ceiling hang/​put up/​strip off/​remove the wallpaper install/​replace/​remove the bathroom fixtures/(British English) fittings build/​put up shelves lay wooden flooring/​timber decking/​floor tiles/​a carpet/​a patio put up/​hang/​take down a picture/​painting/​poster/​curtainDIY/​home improvement do (British English) DIY/​carpentry/​the plumbing/​the wiring make home improvements add/​install central heating/​underfloor heating/​insulation fit/​install double-glazing/​a smoke alarm insulate your house/​your home/​the walls/​the pipes/​the tanks/(especially British English) the loft fix/​repair a roof/​a leak/​a pipe/​the plumbing/​a leaking (especially British English) tap/(usually North American English) faucet block/​clog (up)/unblock/​unclog a pipe/​sink make/​drill/​fill a hole hammer (in)/pull out/​remove a nail tighten/​untighten/​loosen/​remove a screw saw/​cut/​treat/​stain/​varnish/​paint wood
  3. 3something that forms a barrier or stops you from making progress The boat struck a solid wall of water. The investigators were confronted by a wall of silence.
  4. 4the outer layer of something hollow such as an organ of the body or a cell of an animal or a plant the abdominal wall the wall of an artery See related entries: Cell biology
  5. 5a space on a social networking website where you can share messages, photos, etc. with other users She posted a pink baby romper on her Facebook wall, announcing they were expecting a girl.
  6. Word OriginOld English, from Latin vallum ‘rampart’, from vallus ‘stake’.Extra examples If a load-bearing wall is weakened, the building could fall down. Nobody can see behind the wall. She covered her walls with pictures of film stars. She hung the photos on the wall. She just sat there, staring at the wall. She turned and faced the wall. The burglars must have scaled the side wall. There was a wall separating the two garages. They built a retaining wall around the pond. a solid wall of fog high walls around the prison the wall along the seafront the wall facing the door to stare at a blank wall I’m going to paint the walls white and the ceiling pink. a stone/​brick wallIdioms
    be banging, etc. your head against a brick wall
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    (informal) to keep trying to do something that will never be successful Trying to reason with them was like banging my head against a brick wall.
    be bouncing off the walls
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    (informal) to be so full of energy or so excited that you cannot keep still The kids have been bouncing off the walls all day. See related entries: Excitement
    be up against a brick wall
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    to be unable to make any progress because there is a difficulty that stops you
    a person who watches others without being noticed I'd love to be a fly on the wall when he tells her the news. fly-on-the-wall documentaries (= in which people are filmed going about their normal lives as if the camera were not there) (informal) (of a company or an organization) to fail because of lack of money Many firms have gone to the wall in this recession.
    the handwriting on the wall
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    (North American English) = the writing is on the wall
    have your back to the wall
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    (informal) to be in a difficult situation in which you are forced to do something but are unable to make the choices that you would like We had our backs to the wall with no choice but to sell.
    to reach a point when you cannot continue or make any more progress We hit a wall and we weren't scoring. I’ve hit a wall with my marathon training. What do you do when you hit the wall at work? (informal) unusual and amusing; slightly crazy Some of his ideas are really off the wall. off-the-wall ideas See related entries: Describing strange traits used when you are talking about keeping something secret Don't let this go further than these four walls (= Don't tell anyone else who is not in the room now). (informal) crazy or angry That noise is driving me up the wall. I mustn't be late or Dad will go up the wall. See related entries: Describing strange traits, Anger (saying) used to warn people to be careful what they say because other people may be listening
    the writing is on the wall, see the writing on the wall (North American English also the handwriting on the wall)
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    (saying) used when you are describing a situation in which there are signs that something is going to have problems or that it is going to be a failure It is amazing that not one of them saw the writing on the wall. From the Bible story in which strange writing appeared on a wall during a feast given by King Belshazzar, predicting Belshazzar’s death and the fall of his city.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: wall