AskDefine | Define hall

Dictionary Definition



1 an interior passage or corridor onto which rooms open; "the elevators were at the end of the hall" [syn: hallway]
2 a large entrance or reception room or area [syn: anteroom, antechamber, entrance hall, foyer, lobby, vestibule]
3 a large room for gatherings or entertainment; "lecture hall"; "pool hall"
4 a college or university building containing living quarters for students [syn: dormitory, dorm, residence hall, student residence]
5 the large room of a manor or castle [syn: manor hall]
6 English writer whose novel about a lesbian relationship was banned in Britain for many years (1883-1943) [syn: Radclyffe Hall, Marguerite Radclyffe Hall]
7 United States child psychologist whose theories of child psychology strongly influenced educational psychology (1844-1924) [syn: G. Stanley Hall, Granville Stanley Hall]
8 United States chemist who developed an economical method of producing aluminum from bauxite (1863-1914) [syn: Charles Martin Hall]
9 United States explorer who led three expeditions to the Arctic (1821-1871) [syn: Charles Francis Hall]
10 United States astronomer who discovered Phobos and Deimos (the two satellites of Mars) (1829-1907) [syn: Asaph Hall]
11 a large and imposing house [syn: mansion, mansion house, manse, residence]
12 a large building used by a college or university for teaching or research; "halls of learning"
13 a large building for meetings or entertainment

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A corridor; a hallway.
    The drinking fountain was out in the hall.
  2. A meeting room.
    The hotel had three halls for conferences, and two were in use by the convention.
  3. A manor house.
    The duke lived in a great hall overlooking the sea.
  4. A building providing student accommodation at a university.
    The student government hosted several social events so that students from different halls would intermingle.
  5. The principal room of a secular medieval building.


A corridor or a hallway.
A meeting room
  • Dutch: zaal
  • German: Halle
  • Greek: αίθουσα (aíthousa)
  • Russian: зал (zal) , зала (zála)
A manor house
A building providing student accommodation at a university
  • Dutch: studentenflat
  • German: Studentenwohnheim
  • Greek: φοιτητική εστία (foititikí estía)
The principal room of a secular medieval building
  • Dutch: zaal
  • German: Saal, Halle
  • Russian: зал (zal) , зала (zála)



hall g Albanian





Etymology 1

From the same Uralic root *kule as Finnish kuulla


  1. to hear

Etymology 2

From English ‘hall’.







Extensive Definition

Several things are commonly known as Halls or halls. For the development of meaning of the word 'hall', see Hall (concept).
A hall is fundamentally a relatively large space enclosed by a roof and walls. In the Iron Age, a mead hall was such a simple building and was the residence of a lord and his retainers. Later, rooms were partitioned from it, so that today the hall of a house is the space inside the front door from which the rooms are reached.
  • Deriving from the above, a hall is often the term used to designate a British or Irish country house.
  • In later medieval Europe, the main room of a castle or manor house was the great hall.
  • Where the hall inside the front door of a house is elongated, it may be called a passage, or hallway. The corresponding space upstairs is a landing.
  • In a medieval building, the hall was where the fire was kept. With time, its functions as dormitory, kitchen, parlour and so on were divided off to separate rooms or, in the case of the kitchen, a separate building.
On the same principle:
  • A hall is also a building consisting largely of a principal room, that is rented out for meetings and social affairs. It may be privately or government-owned, such as a function hall owned by one company used for weddings and cotillions (organized and run by the same company on a contractual basis) or a community hall available for rent to anyone.
Following a line of similar development:
  • In office buildings and larger buildings (theatres, cinemas etc), the entrance hall is generally known as the foyer (the French for fire-place). The atrium, a name sometimes used in public buildings for the entrance hall, was the central courtyard of a Roman house.
Derived from the residential meanings of the word:
  • Hall is also a surname of people, one of whose ancestors lived in a hall as distinct from one such as David M. Cote, whose ancestor will have lived in a cote, a much humbler place shared with the livestock.

Association with salt

From a completely separate derivation:
A Hall is a brand of bitter (beer) made in Germany and sold worldwide, mainly across America.
  • In German speaking areas, Hall (with a short a) can also form part of a town name, like Halle, where the name refers to hall, the Celtic word for salt (compare Welsh halen or Breton holen or Cornish holan). In this connection, Hall is the short form of the name of:
  1. the medieval German town Schwäbisch Hall, where Hall was its whole name prior to 1933
  2. the Austrian town Hall in Tirol near Innsbruck, which used to be called Solbad Hall from 1938 to 1974,
  3. Hallstatt in Austria which gave its name to the Celtic Hallstatt culture.
Sir Charles Hallé (originally Karl Halle) lent his name to the Hallé Orchestra. His forbears were probably associated with the German town of Halle. The accent was added to his name in order to assist English-speakers in pronouncing the word.
In the ancient world, the Celts were neighbours of the Greeks whose word for salt was halos (`αλοσ). While European science was developing, some branches of it adopted the Greek language as the source of its terminology. We therefore have words like halogen, halide, halotrichite and halocarbon.
hall in German: Foyer
hall in Italian: Foyer
hall in Georgian: ჰოლი (ოთახი)
hall in Dutch: Foyer
hall in Polish: Foyer
hall in Portuguese: Hall
hall in Swedish: Hall (rum)
hall in Yiddish: זאל
hall in Chinese: 禮堂

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Dymaxion house, Elizabethan theater, Globe Theatre, Greek theater, White House, access, adit, adobe house, agora, air lock, amphitheater, approach, arcade, areaway, arena, arena theater, assembly hall, athletic field, auditorium, background, bear garden, bowl, boxing ring, breezeway, building, bull ring, cabaret, campus, canvas, casa, chapel, circle theater, circus, classroom, classroom building, cliff dwelling, cloister, club, cockpit, coliseum, colonnade, colosseum, concert hall, consulate, convention hall, corridor, couloir, country house, country seat, course, dacha, dance hall, deanery, dwelling house, edifice, embassy, entrance, entranceway, entry, entryway, erection, exhibition hall, fabric, farm, farmhouse, field, floor, forum, foyer, gallery, gangplank, gangway, ground, gym, gymnasium, hallway, hippodrome, house, houseboat, in, ingress, inlet, intake, lake dwelling, lecture hall, lists, little red schoolhouse, little theater, living machine, lobby, locale, lodge, loggia, manor house, manse, marketplace, mat, means of access, meetinghouse, milieu, music hall, night spot, nightclub, open forum, opening, opera, opera house, outdoor theater, palaestra, parade ground, parsonage, passage, passageway, penthouse, pergola, peristyle, pit, place, platform, playhouse, precinct, prefabricated house, presidential palace, prize ring, public square, purlieu, ranch house, range, rectory, ring, roof, scene, scene of action, scenery, school building, schoolhouse, setting, showboat, site, skyscraper, sod house, sphere, split-level, squared circle, stadium, stage, stage set, stage setting, structure, terrain, theater, theater-in-the-round, theatre, theatron, tilting ground, tiltyard, town house, vestibule, vicarage, walk, way, way in, wrestling ring
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