Wall: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A brick wall

A wall is a usually solid structure that defines and sometimes protects an area. Most commonly, a wall delineates a building and supports its superstructure, separates space in buildings into rooms, or protects or delineates a space in the open air. There are three principal types of structural walls: building walls, exterior boundary walls, and retaining walls.


Building walls

Building walls have one main purpose: to support roofs and ceilings. Such walls most often have three or more separate components. In today's construction, a building's wall will usually have the structural elements (such as 2×4 studs in a house wall), insulation, and finish elements, or surface (such as drywall or panelling). In addition, the wall may house various types of electrical wiring or plumbing. Electrical outlets are usually mounted in walls.

Building walls frequently become works of art externally and internally, such as when featuring mosaic work or when murals are painted on them; or as design foci when they exhibit textures or painted finishes for effect.

On a ship, the walls separating compartments are termed "bulkheads", whilst the thinner walls separating cabins are termed "partitions".

In architecture and civil engineering, the term curtain wall refers to the facade of a building which is not load-bearing but functions as decoration, finish, front, face, or history preservation.

Mossy wall

walls are usually built by builders and people who are retired builders. walls are used to separate rooms.

Boundary walls

Stone wall of an English barn

Boundary walls include privacy walls, boundary-marking walls on property, and town walls. These intergrade into fences; the conventional differentiation is that a fence is of minimal thickness and often is open in nature, while a wall is usually more than a nominal thickness and is completely closed, or opaque. More to the point, if an exterior structure is made of wood or wire, it is generally referred to as a fence, while if it is made of masonry, it is considered a wall. A common term for both is barrier, convenient if it is partly a wall and partly a fence, for example the Berlin Wall. Another kind of wall/fence ambiguity is the ha-ha which is set below ground level, so as not to interrupt a view yet acting as a barrier to cattle for example.

An old Italian wall surrounded by flowers

Before the invention of artillery, many of the world's cities and towns, particularly in Europe and Asia, had protective walls (also called town walls or city walls). In fact, the English word "wall" is derived from Latin vallum, which was a type of fortification wall. Since they are no longer relevant for defense, such cities have grown beyond their walls, and many of the walls, or portions thereof, have been torn down, for example in Rome, Italy and in Beijing, China. Examples of protective walls on a much larger scale include the Great Wall of China and Hadrian's Wall.

Separation walls

Some walls are designed to formally separate one population from another. A example was the Berlin Wall, which divided East and West Berlin.

Retaining walls

Dry-stone wall - Grendon
Ashlar wall - Inca wall at Machu Picchu, Peru

In areas of rocky soils around the world, farmers have often pulled large quantities of stone out of their fields to make farming easier, and have stacked those stones to make walls that either mark the field boundary, or the property boundary, or both.

Retaining walls are a special type of wall, that may be either external to a building or part of a building, that serves to provide a barrier to the movement of earth, stone or water. The ground surface or water on one side of a retaining wall will be noticeably higher than on the other side. A dike is one type of retaining wall, as is a levee, a load-bearing foundation wall, and a sea wall.

Shared walls

Special laws often govern walls shared by neighbouring properties. Typically, one neighbour cannot alter the common wall if it is likely to affect the building or property on the other side. A wall may also separate apartment or hotel walls from each other. Each wall has two sides and breaking a wall on one side will break the wall on the other side.

Portable walls

Portable walls, such as room dividers or portable partitions, are used to take a large open space and effectively divide it into smaller rooms. Portable walls can be static such as cubicle walls, or they can be wall panels mounted on casters to provide an easy way to reconfigure assembly space. They are often found inside schools, churches, convention centers, hotels, and corporate facilities.


It is notable that English uses the same word to refer to an external wall, and the internal sides of a room. This is by no means universal, and many languages distinguish between the two. In German, some of this distinction can be seen between Wand and Mauer, in Spanish between Pared and Muro.

Walls in popular culture

In culture a wall normally means a barrier stopping progress or entry. For instance the progressive/psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd have a concept album called The Wall. This Wall is not real, but a metaphor for social barring. American poet laureate Robert Frost describes a pointless rock wall as a metaphor for the myopia of the culture-bound in his poem Mending Wall. The Berlin Wall that separated the Soviet zone of Berlin, Germany from the rest of the city from 1961 until its ultimate destruction in 1989 was often referred to just as 'The Wall'.

Another common usage is as a communal surface to write upon. For instance the social networking site Facebook uses a wall to log the scrawls of friends. Users have gone on to create more advanced versions of the original wall, such as the application SuperWall.

See also

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

There's more than one place called Wall.

United Kingdom

United States of America

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

WALL (0. Eng. weal, weall, Mid. Eng. wal, Ovalle, adapted from Lat. vallum, rampart; the original O. Eng. word for a wall was wdg or wkh), a solid structure of stone, brick or other material, used as a defensive, protecting, enclosing or dividing fence, or as the enclosing and supporting sides of a building, house or room. The Roman vallum was an earth rampart with stakes or palisades (vallus, stake; Gr. 17Aos, nail) and the Old English word was particularly applied to such earth' walls; for the remains of the Roman walls in Britain see Britain. The word, however, was also applied to stone defensive walls, for which the Latin word was murus. The history of the wall as a means of defence will be found in the article Fortification And Siegecraft, the architectural and constructional side under the headings Architecture, Masonry and Brickwork. In anatomy and zoology the term "wall," and also the Latin term paries, is used for an investing or enclosing structure, as in "cell-walls," walls of the abdomen, &c. In the days when footpaths were narrow and ill-paved or non-existent in the streets of towns and when the gutters were often overflowing with water and filth, the side nearest to the wall of the bordering houses was safest and cleanest, and hence to walk on that side was a privilege, hence the expressions "to take" or "to give the wall." The term "wall-rib" is given in architecture to a half-rib bedded in the wall, to carry the web or shell of the vault. In Roman and in early Romanesque work the web was laid on the top of the stone courses of the wall, which had been cut to the arched form, but as this was often irregularly done, and as sometimes the courses had sunk owing to the drying of the mortar, it was found better to provide an independent rib to carry the web; half of this rib was sunk in the wall and the other, half moulded like the transverse and diagonal ribs, so that if the wall sank, or if it had to be taken down from any cause, the vault would still retain its position.

The word "wall eye" or "wall-eyed" is applied to a condition of the eye, particularly of a horse, in which there is a large amount of white showing or there is absence of colour in the iris, or there is leucoma of the cornea. It is also applied to the white staring eyes of certain fishes. The word has no connexion with "wall" as above, but is from the Icelandic vagleygr, vagl, a beam, sty in the eye, and eygr, eyed.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also wall




From Middle High German, from Latin vallum.



Wall m. (genitive Walles, plural Wälle)

  1. wall


Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Frank Wall article)

From Wikispecies

British herpetologist (1868-1950)

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Cities were surrounded by walls, as distinguished from "unwalled villages" (Ezek. 38:11; Lev. 25:29-34). They were made thick and strong (Num. 13:28; Deut. 3:5). Among the Jews walls were built of stone, some of those in the temple being of great size (1 Kings 6:7; 7:9-12; 20:30; Mark 13:1, 2). The term is used metaphorically of security and safety (Isa. 26:1; 60:18; Rev. 21:12-20). (See FENCE.)

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

A picture of a stone wall protecting a city.

A wall is a vertical dividing surface. It divides space in buildings into rooms or protects buildings. It is usually made of stone or brick. Walls have 2 main purposes: to support the top part of buildings, and to divide space, giving protection from invasion and weather.

Before artillery was invented, many cities in Europe had protective walls. Since they are not suitable for defense any more, the walls have been destroyed.

The term "the Wall" usually referred to the Berlin Wall, built during the Cold War, which fell in 1989.

See also: fire wall, Wall painting, wallpaper, Great Wall of China and Western Wall in Jerusalem.

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