— wall-less , adj. — wall-like , adj.
/wawl/ , n.
1. 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.
2. Usually, walls . a rampart raised for defensive purposes.
3. an immaterial or intangible barrier, obstruction, etc., suggesting a wall: a wall of prejudice.
4. a wall-like, enclosing part, thing, mass, etc.: a wall of fire; a wall of troops.
5. an embankment to prevent flooding, as a levee or sea wall.
6. the Wall . See Berlin Wall .
7. the outermost film or layer of structural material protecting, surrounding, and defining the physical limits of an object: the wall of a blood cell.
a. the side of a level or drift.
b. the overhanging or underlying side of a vein; a hanging wall or footwall.
9. climb the walls or climb walls , Slang. to become tense or frantic: climbing the walls with boredom.
10. drive or 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.
11. 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.
12. go to the wall ,
a. to be defeated in a conflict or competition; yield.
b. to fail in business, esp. to become bankrupt.
c. to be put aside or forgotten.
d. to take an extreme and determined position or measure: I'd go to the wall to stop him from resigning.
13. 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.
14. off the wall , Slang.
a. beyond the realm of acceptability or reasonableness: The figure you quoted for doing the work is off the wall.
b. markedly out of the ordinary; eccentric; bizarre: Some of the clothes in the fashion show were too off the wall for the average customer.
15. up against the wall ,
a. placed against a wall to be executed by a firing squad.
b. in a crucial or critical position, esp. one in which defeat or failure seems imminent: Unless sales improve next month, the company will be up against the wall.
16. up the wall , Slang. into an acutely frantic, frustrated, or irritated state: The constant tension in the office is driving everyone up the wall.
17. of or pertaining to a wall: wall space.
18. growing against or on a wall: wall plants; wall cress.
19. situated, placed, or installed in or on a wall: wall oven; a wall safe.
20. to enclose, shut off, divide, protect, border, etc., with or as if with a wall (often fol. by in or off ): to wall the yard; to wall in the play area; He is walled in by lack of opportunity.
21. to seal or fill (a doorway or other opening) with a wall: to wall an unused entrance.
22. to seal or entomb (something or someone) within a wall (usually fol. by up ): The workmen had walled up the cat quite by mistake.
[ bef. 900; (n.) ME; OE w ( e ) all vallum palisade, deriv. of vallus stake, post; see WALE 1 ; (v.) ME, deriv. of the n. ]
Syn. 2. battlement, breastwork, bulwark, barrier, bastion. 5. dike. 22. immure.