- Extremely unconventional.
- Without foundation; ridiculous:
an accusation that is really off the wall.
- Into a state of extreme frustration, anger, or distress:
tensions that are driving me up the wall.
- An ominous indication of the course of future events:
saw the writing on the wall and fled the country.
- to place in a desperate or extreme position
- to make frantic, emotionally tense, crazy, etc.
Other Word Forms of Wall
Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Wall
- off the wall
- up the wall
- drive to the wall
- drive up the wall
- go to the wall
- hit the wall
- off the wall
- (see) the handwriting (or writing) on the wall
Origin of Wall
From Middle English wall, from Old English weall (“wall, dike, earthwork, rampart, dam, rocky shore, cliff"), from Proto-Germanic *wallaz, *wallÄ… (“wall, rampart, entrenchment"), from Latin vallum (“wall, rampart, entrenchment, palisade"), from Proto-Indo-European *wel- (“to turn, wind, roll"). Cognate with North Frisian wal (“wall"), Dutch wal (“wall, rampart, embankment"), German Wall (“rampart, mound, embankment"), Swedish vall (“mound, wall, bank"). More at wallow, walk.
From Middle English wallen, from Old English weallian (“to bubble, boil"), from Proto-Germanic *wallōnÄ…, *wellōnÄ… (“to fount, stream, boil"), from Proto-Indo-European *welǝn-, *welǝm- (“wave"). Cognate with Middle Dutch wallen (“to boil, bubble"), Dutch wellen (“to weld"), German wellen (“to wave, warp"), Danish vælde (“to overwhelm"), Swedish välla (“to gush, weld"). See also well.
Middle English from Old English weall from Latin vallum palisade from vallus stake Idiom, in reference to an incident in the Bible (Daniel 5) in which a hand writes mysterious words on the wall of Belshazzar's banquet hall and the prophet Daniel interprets them as predicting the king's downfall
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
From Middle English walle, from Old English *weall (“spring"), from Proto-Germanic *wallô, *wallaz (“well, spring"). See above. Cognate with Old Frisian walla (“spring"), Old English wiell (“well").
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