- 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
- 2any 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. Topic CollocationsDecorating and Home Improvementhouses refurbish/renovate a building/a house convert a building/house/room into homes/offices/ apartments/condominiums/condos extend/enlarge a house/building/room/kitchen build an addition (on/to something)/a sunroom/a deck knock down/demolish a house/home/building/wall knock out/down the wall separating two roomsdecorating furnish/paint/repaint a home/house/apartment/room be decorated in bright 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 build/put up shelves lay wooden flooring/timber decking/floor tiles/a carpet/a patio floor put up/hang/take down a picture/painting/poster/curtainhome improvement do carpentry/the plumbing/the wiring (yourself) make home improvements add/install central heating/underfloor heating/insulation install double-glazing/a smoke alarm insulate your house/your home/the walls/the pipes/the tanks/the attic fix/repair a roof/a leak/a pipe/the plumbing/a leaking faucet block/clog (up)/unblock/unclog a pipe/sink/drain make/drill/fill a hole hammer (in)/pull out/remove a nail tighten/loosen/remove a screw saw/cut/treat/stain/varnish/paint wood
- 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.
- 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 Idioms
nounjump to other results
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 banging, etc. your head against a (brick) wall (informal)jump to other results
to be so full of energy or so excited that you cannot keep still The kids have been bouncing off the walls all day.
be bouncing off the walls (informal)jump to other results
to be unable to make any progress because there is a difficulty that stops you
be up against a brick walljump to other results
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)
a fly on the walljump to other results
(of a company or an organization) to fail because of lack of money Many firms have gone to the wall in this recession.
go to the wall (informal)jump to other results
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 no choice but to sell—our backs were against the wall.
have your back to/against the wall (informal)jump to other results
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?
hit a/the walljump to other results
unusual and amusing; slightly crazy Some of his ideas are really off the wall. off-the-wall ideas
off the wall (informal)jump to other results
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).
these four wallsjump to other results
crazy or angry That noise is driving me up the wall.
up the wall (informal)jump to other results
used to warn people to be careful what they say because other people may be listening
walls have ears (saying)jump to other results
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.
the writing is on the wall, see the writing on the wall, the handwriting on the wall (saying)jump to other results