AskDefine | Define ell

Dictionary Definition

ell n : an extension at the end and at right angles to the main building

User Contributed Dictionary



From eln “unit of measure of 45 inches,” originally “length of the arm,” from Proto-Indo-European *el- “elbow, forearm”.



  1. A measure for cloth. An English ell equals 1.25 yards, whereas a Scottish ell measures only 1.0335 yards ( A Flemish ell measured three quarters, (27 inches).
  2. An extension usually at right angles to one end of a building.
  3. Something that is L -shaped.



From ille.



Extensive Definition

otheruses ELL An ell (from Proto-Indo-European *el- "elbow, forearm"), when used as an English unit of length, is usually 45 inches, i.e. 1.143 m (for the international inch). It was mainly used in the tailoring business but is now obsolete. It was derived from the length of the arm from the shoulder (or the elbow) to the wrist, although the exact length was never defined in English law.
Several different national forms existed, with different lengths, including the Scottish ell (approximately 37 inches), the Flemish ell (approximately 27 inches) and the Polish ell (0.78 metres, approximately 31 inches).
Sometimes ell is used as an alias for the cubit.
An ell-wand or ellwand was a rod of length one ell used for official measurement. Edward I of England required that every town have one. In Scotland, the Belt of Orion was called "the King's Ellwand."
ell in Breton: Gwalenn
ell in Czech: Loket (délková míra)
ell in Danish: Alen
ell in German: Elle (Einheit)
ell in French: Aune
ell in Italian: Auna
ell in Swahili (macrolanguage): Ziraa
ell in Dutch: El (lengtemaat)
ell in Japanese: エル (単位)
ell in Norwegian: Alen
ell in Norwegian Nynorsk: Alen
ell in Polish: Łokieć (miara)
ell in Simple English: Ell
ell in Slovenian: Vatel
ell in Swedish: Aln
ell in Turkish: Arşın

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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