2 entries found for mall.
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Main Entry: mall
Pronunciation: primarystressmodotl
Function: noun
Etymology: a shortened form of pall-mall "a game similar to croquet formerly played in England," literally "ball-mallet"
1 : a shaded walk : PROMENADE
2 : a usually paved or grassy strip between two roadways
3 a : a group of stores and often restaurants arranged about an often covered way for pedestrians b : a usually large suburban building or group of buildings containing shops and often restaurants with connecting passageways
Word History The word mall was a short form of the name of a game played in England in the 17th century. The full name was pall-mall, which literally means "ball-mallet." The object of this game was to drive a wooden ball with a mallet through an iron ring hanging at the end of an alley. The player doing so with the fewest strokes won. In time, the alley on which the game was played was called a mall. Even after the game was no longer popular, the word mall continued to be used for such alleys, many of which became walks or streets. One of these walks, called "The Mall," was located in St. James's Park, London. It was landscaped with trees and flowers and became a fashionable place to walk. Other such places also were called malls. Later, the word was applied to the grassy strip separating roadways. Nowadays a mall commonly refers to an enclosed walkway arranged with stores for the convenience of shoppers.

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