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.
8. Mining.
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 < L vallum palisade, deriv. of vallus stake, post; see WALE1; (v.) ME, deriv. of the n.]
Syn. 2. battlement, breastwork, bulwark, barrier, bastion. 5. dike. 22. immure.

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Any of various upright constructions used to divide or enclose a room or building.

In traditional masonry construction, bearing walls supported the weight of floors and roofs, but modern steel and reinforced-concrete frames, as well as heavy timber and other skeletal structures, require exterior walls only for shelter. Some urban buildings dispense with walls on the ground floor, extending outdoor plazas under the building and permitting easier access to elevators, escalators, and stairs. In masonry construction, all types of floors and roofs except domes are most easily supported on straight, parallel walls. Nonbearing walls, used when loads are carried by girders, beams, or other members, can be either curtain walls or infill of brick, block, or other material. See also cavity wall, retaining wall, shear wall.
(as used in expressions)
load bearing wall
Hadrian's Wall
Wall Street Journal The

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      structural element used to divide or enclose, and, in building construction, to form the periphery of a room or a building. In traditional masonry construction, walls supported the weight of floors and roofs, but modern steel and reinforced concrete frames, as well as heavy timber and other skeletal structures, require exterior walls only for shelter and sometimes dispense with them on the ground floor to permit easier access.

      The traditional load-bearing wall of masonry is of a thickness proportional to the forces it has to resist: its own weight, the dead load of floors and roofs, and the live load of people, as well as the lateral forces of arches, vaults, and wind. Such walls are often thicker toward the base, where maximum loading accumulates. They can be thickened along their entire length or only at particular points where the force is concentrated; the latter method is called buttressing (buttress).

      Doors and windows weaken a wall and divert the forces above them to the parts on either side, which must be thickened in proportion to the width of the opening. The number of openings that can be used depends on the strength of the masonry and the stresses in the wall. Usually windows must be placed one above the other in multistory buildings to leave uninterrupted vertical wall masses to transfer loads directly to the ground.

      Positioning of walls depends on the type of support given floors and roofs. The usual beam supports must be jointed to walls at both ends, and their maximum length establishes the distance between bearing walls. All types of floors and roofs except the dome are most easily supported on straight, parallel walls.

      Nonbearing walls, used where loads are carried by girders, beams, or other members, are called curtain walls; they are attached to the frame members. Any durable, weather-resisting material—glass, plastic, metal alloy, or wood—may be used, since nonbearing walls are freed from the limitations of structural requirements.

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Universalium. 2010.