stall

Stall means to stop or delay. If your car stalls, it comes to a stop. When you want a horse to stop, you put him in a stall, or small enclosure inside a barn.

The word stall implies stopping something that will start again — a horse will leave the stall eventually and start moving, a stalled car can be restarted. Remember that when you're thinking about stall in the sense of postpone or delay. You can stall your professor from giving an exam by talking about last night’s big game. Your little sister can stall going to bed by asking for one more story. If you want to delay an approaching army, you might steal their boots — they'll still come but the "stall tactic" will buy you time.

Definitions of stall
  1. noun
    small area set off by walls for special use
    synonyms: booth, cubicle, kiosk
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    types:
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    confessional
    a booth where a priest sits to hear confessions
    polling booth
    a temporary booth in a polling place which people enter to cast their votes
    prompt box, prompter's box
    a booth projecting above the floor in the front of a stage where the prompter sits; opens toward the performers on stage
    shower bath, shower stall
    booth for washing yourself, usually in a bathroom
    call box, phone booth, telephone booth, telephone box, telephone kiosk
    booth for using a telephone
    tolbooth, tollbooth, tollhouse
    a booth at a tollgate where the toll collector collects tolls
    voting booth
    a booth in which a person can cast a private vote
    type of:
    closet
    a small private room for study or prayer
  2. noun
    a compartment in a stable where a single animal is confined and fed
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    type of:
    compartment
    a partitioned section, chamber, or separate room within a larger enclosed area
  3. noun
    a booth where articles are displayed for sale
    synonyms: sales booth, stand
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    types:
    coffee stall
    a stand (usually movable) selling hot coffee and food (especially at night)
    newsstand
    a stall where newspapers and other periodicals are sold
    type of:
    booth
    a small shop at a fair; for selling goods or entertainment
  4. noun
    seating in the forward part of the main level of a theater
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    type of:
    seating, seating area, seating room, seats
    an area that includes places where several people can sit
  5. noun
    small individual study area in a library
    synonyms: carrel, carrell, cubicle
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    type of:
    alcove, bay
    a small recess opening off a larger room
  6. verb
    put into, or keep in, a stall
    Stall the horse”
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    type of:
    shelter
    provide shelter for
  7. noun
    a tactic used to mislead or delay
    synonyms: stalling
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    types:
    stonewalling
    stalling or delaying especially by refusing to answer questions or cooperate
    type of:
    obstruction
    the act of obstructing
  8. verb
    postpone doing what one should be doing
    synonyms: dilly-dally, dillydally, drag one's feet, drag one's heels, procrastinate, shillyshally
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    procrastinate
    postpone or delay needlessly
    type of:
    delay
    act later than planned, scheduled, or required
  9. verb
    deliberately delay an event or action
    “she doesn't want to write the report, so she is stalling
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    type of:
    delay, detain, hold up
    cause to be slowed down or delayed
  10. verb
    come to a stop
    “The car stalled in the driveway”
    synonyms: conk
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    type of:
    halt, stop
    come to a halt, stop moving
  11. verb
    cause an engine to stop
    “The inexperienced driver kept stalling the car”
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    type of:
    stop
    cause to stop
  12. verb
    cause an airplane to go into a stall
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    type of:
    stop
    cause to stop
  13. verb
    experience a stall in flight, of airplanes
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    type of:
    halt, stop
    come to a halt, stop moving
  14. noun
    a malfunction in the flight of an aircraft in which there is a sudden loss of lift that results in a downward plunge
    “the plane went into a stall and I couldn't control it”
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    type of:
    malfunction
    a failure to function normally
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