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

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR TALLEST

Other things being equal, people of six prefer that man who is tallest.

For these she used the china dolls, the tallest of which was three inches high.

Elizabeth then wanted to know which was the tallest of the two.

The tallest of the three men covered her hands with his own.

The Head Buffalo is a head taller than the tallest man of his tribe.

The sun cleared the tallest pines; there set in a splendid day.

"Because you are the tallest, and you look the strongest," said Aunt Susan.

Who but she could climb to the very highest branch of the tallest tree?

The tallest of the trees is nearly 60 feet and they have a spread of more than 70 feet.

I do not think the tallest of them was much, if any, over five feet.

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.