Main definitions of ell in English

: ell1ell2

ell1

noun

  • A former measure of length (equivalent to six hand breadths) used mainly for textiles, locally variable but typically about 45 inches in England and 37 inches in Scotland.

    • ‘Accordingly, Edinburgh would keep the ell for linear measure, Linlithgow the firlot for dry measure, Lanark the troy stone for weight, and Stirling the jug for liquid capacity.’
    • ‘Forget the distance from the king's nose to the tip of his thumb, the aune and the ell, the befuddling patchwork of local measures in ancien régime France.’
    • ‘And we are now to each get three ells of fine fabric a year.’

Origin

Old English eln, of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Latin ulna (see ulna). Compare with elbow and also with cubit (the measure was originally linked to the length of the human arm or forearm).

Pronunciation:

ell

/ɛl/

Main definitions of ell in English

: ell1ell2

ell2

noun

  • 1Something that is L-shaped or that creates an L shape.

    1. 1.1North American An extension of a building or room that is at right angles to the main part:
      ‘1820 brick Federal Colonial featuring clapboard ell’
      addition, add-on, adjunct, addendum, augmentation, supplement, appendage, appendix
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A bend or joint for connecting two pipes at right angles.

Pronunciation:

ell

/ɛl/