1. High in stature; having a considerable, or an unusual, extension upward; long and comparatively slender; having the diameter or lateral extent small in proportion to the height; as, a tall person, tree, or mast. Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall. (milton)
2. Brave; bold; courageous. As tall a trencherman As e’er demolished a pye fortification. (Massinger) His companions, being almost in despair of victory, were suddenly recomforted by Sir William stanley, which came to succors with three thousand tall men. (Grafton)
3. Fine; splendid; excellent; also, extravagant; excessive.
Synonym: high, lofty.
Tall, high, Lofty. High is the generic term, and is applied to anything which is elevated or raised above another thing. Tall specifically describes that which has a small diameter in proportion to its height; hence, we speak of a tall man, a tall steeple, a tall mast, etc, but not of a tall hill. Lofty has a special reference to the expanse above us, and denotes an imposing height; as, a lofty mountain; a lofty room. Tall is now properly applied only to physical objects; high and lofty have a moral acceptation; as, high thought, purpose, etc.; lofty aspirations; a lofty genius. Lofty is the stronger word, and is usually coupled with the grand or admirable.
Origin: OE. Tal seemly, elegant, docile (?); of uncertain origin; cf. AS. Un-tala, un-tale, bad, Goth. Untals indocile, disobedient, uninstructed, or W. & Corn. Tal high, Ir. Talla meet, fit, proper, just.