General English


  • A small entrance room or corridor.
  • A term often used in the proper names of public or university buildings.

Real Estate

  • noun an entrance room in a house, flat or building, with doors leading to other rooms.


  • noun a large building for public meetings

Origin & History of “hall”

Etymologically, a hall is a ‘roofed or covered place’. Its ultimate ancestor was prehistoric west and north Germanic *khallō, a derivative of *khal-, *khel- ‘cover, hide’ (a slightly different derivative produced English hell, and cell, clandestine, conceal, hull ‘pod’, and possibly colour and holster are all relatives, close or distant). It retained much of its original meaning in Old English heall, which denoted simply a ‘large place covered by a roof’. this gradually became specialized to, on the one hand, ‘large residence’, and on the other, ‘large public room’. The main current sense, ‘entrance corridor’, dates from the 17th century (it derives from the fact that in former times the principal room of a house usually opened directly off the front door).