1. Informal. elevated railroad.


  1. ell1.


  1. the letter l.


  1. an extension usually at right angles to one end of a building.
  2. elbow(def 5).
  3. something that is L-shaped.


  1. Ernie, full name Theodore Ernest Els . born 1969; South African golfer: won the British Open Championship (2002, 2012) and the US Open Championship (1994, 1997)


  1. US informal a shortened form of elevated railway or railroadSee elevated railway


  1. an obsolete unit of length equal to approximately 45 inches


  1. an extension to a building, usually at right angles and located at one end
  2. a pipe fitting, pipe, or tube with a sharp right-angle bend

American English abbreviation of elevated railroad, first recorded 1906 in O. Henry.


type of building extension, 1773, American English; so called for resemblance to the shape of the alphabet letter.


“unit of measure of 45 inches,” Old English eln, originally “forearm, length of the arm” (as a measure, anywhere from a foot and a half to two feet), from PIE *el- (1) “elbow, forearm” (cf. Greek olene “elbow,” Latin ulna, Armenian uln “shoulder,” Sanskrit anih “part of the leg above the knee,” Lithuanian alkune “elbow”).

The exact distance varied, depending on whose arm was used as the base and whether it was measured from the shoulder to the fingertip or the wrist: the Scottish ell was 37.2 inches, the Flemish 27 inches. Latin ulna also was a unit of linear measure, and cf. cubit.

Whereas shee tooke an inche of liberty before, tooke an ell afterwardes [Humfrey Gifford, “A Posie of Gilloflowers,” 1580].

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