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stall 1 (stôl)
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n.
1. A compartment for one domestic animal in a barn or shed.
2.
a. A booth, cubicle, or stand used by a vendor, as at a market.
b. A small compartment: a shower stall.
3.
a. An enclosed seat in the chancel of a church.
b. A pew in a church.
4. Chiefly British A seat in the front part of a theater.
5. A space marked off, as in a garage, for parking a motor vehicle.
6. A protective sheath for a finger or toe.
7. The sudden, unintended loss of power or effectiveness in an engine.
8. A condition in which an aircraft or airfoil experiences an interruption of airflow resulting in loss of lift and a tendency to drop.
v. stalled, stall·ing, stalls
v.tr.
1. To put or lodge in a stall.
2. To maintain in a stall for fattening: to stall cattle.
3. To halt the motion or progress of; bring to a standstill.
4. To cause (a motor or motor vehicle) accidentally to stop running.
5. To cause (an aircraft) to go into a stall.
v.intr.
1. To live or be lodged in a stall. Used of an animal.
2. To stick fast in mud or snow.
3. To come to a standstill: Negotiations stalled.
4. To stop running as a result of mechanical failure: The car stalled on the freeway.
5. To lose forward flying speed, causing a stall. Used of an aircraft.

[Middle English stalle, from Old English steall, standing place, stable; see stel- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
stall 2 (stôl)
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n.
A ruse or tactic used to mislead or delay.
v. stalled, stall·ing, stalls
v.tr.
To employ delaying tactics against: stall off creditors.
v.intr.
To employ delaying tactics: stalling for time.

[Alteration (influenced by STALL1) of obsolete stale, pickpocket's accomplice, from Middle English, decoy, from Anglo-Norman estale, of Germanic origin; possibly akin to Old English stǣl, stathol, place, position; see STADDLE.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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