Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR TALLER

The men are taller than the average, and the women, relatively, taller than the men.

Miss Merton is the taller, but there is something fierce in her eyes.

I wish you'd light up, evenin's, an' not set here by one taller candle!

Evidently Dick is the taller, for Mr. Don has to look up to him.

She was a lithe, strong woman, taller than he, or else she would have fallen.

They were armed with sheath knives and revolvers, and the taller bore a rifle.

These too, in turn, became sprinkled with the darker and taller pines.

The man was tall and thin, taller and thinner than Mr. Gubb himself.

I really think you must be a little like him, only browner and taller, perhaps.

The barber's customer was a taller man standing than he was long lying.

WORD ORIGIN

"high in stature," 1520s, probably ultimately from Old English getæl "prompt, active." Sense evolved to "brave, valiant, seemly, proper" (late 14c.), then to "attractive, handsome" (mid-15c.), and finally "being of more than average height." The Old English word is related to Old High German gi-zal "quick," Gothic un-tals "indocile."

Sense evolution is remarkable, but adjectives applied to persons often mutate quickly in meaning (e.g. pretty, buxom, German klein "small, little," which in Middle High German meant the same as its English cognate clean). Meaning "exaggerated" (as in tall tale) is American English colloquial attested by 1846. Phrase tall, dark, and handsome is recorded from 1906.

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.