From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Tall \Tall\, a. [Compar. Taller; superl. Tallest.] [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.]
   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.
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            Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall. --Milton.
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   2. Brave; bold; courageous. [Obs.]
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            As tall a trencherman
            As e'er demolished a pye fortification. --Massinger.
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            His companions, being almost in despair of victory,
            were suddenly recomforted by Sir William Stanley,
            which came to succors with three thousand tall men.
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   3. Fine; splendid; excellent; also, extravagant; excessive.
      [Obs. or Slang] --B. Jonson.
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   Syn: High; lofty.

   Usage: 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.
          [1913 Webster] Tallage
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