vocabularyLearn English Online - Idiomatic Expressions

Definition of Idiomatic Expressions


What does tall order mean?

Meaning of idioms with examples...

tall order

The phrase a tall order refers to something that is very difficult to do.


The adjective 'tall' probably comes from Middle English 'tal'. Its meaning has developed throughout centuries. Its primary sense is "high in stature", but other meanings have been attributed to it:

"handsome, good-looking; valiant; lively in speech; large, big; humble, meek."

Used in this idiom, the adjective refers to things large in amount or size. Thus, a tall order refers to a task or a job that is hard to accomplish.

Another instance of an idiom that uses the adjective 'tall' to mean considerable or exaggerated is the following:

tall tale.

A tall tale refers to a long and complicated story that is difficult to believe because some of its events are improbable or impossible.


To win the match against such a good team is a tall order for them.

Finishing the report before the deadline was a tall order but I did it.

Jane: Can you finish painting the house today?
Alan: That's a tall order.

This idiom is in the general category

More idioms