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Hall (h&asuml_;l), n. [OE. halle, hal, AS. heal, heall; akin to D. hal, OS. & OHG. halla, G. halle, Icel. h&ö;ll, and prob. from a root meaning, to hide, conceal, cover. See Hell, Helmet.] 1. A building or room of considerable size and stateliness, used for public purposes; as, Westminster Hall, in London.
2. (a) The chief room in a castle or manor house, and in early times the only public room, serving as the place of gathering for the lord's family with the retainers and servants, also for cooking and eating. It was often contrasted with the bower, which was the private or sleeping apartment.
Full sooty was her bower and eke her hall. Chaucer.
Hence, as the entrance from outside was directly into the hall: (b) A vestibule, entrance room, etc., in the more elaborated buildings of later times. Hence: (c) Any corridor or passage in a building.
3. A name given to many manor houses because the magistrate's court was held in the hall of his mansion; a chief mansion house. Cowell.
4. A college in an English university (at Oxford, an unendowed college).
5. The apartment in which English university students dine in common; hence, the dinner itself; as, hall is at six o'clock.
6. Cleared passageway in a crowd; -- formerly an exclamation. [Obs.] “A hall! a hall!” B. Jonson.
Syn. -- Entry; court; passage. See Vestibule.