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To prove or display one's pride, confidence, or fortitude. I know a lot of people are upset, but you did the right thing, so walk tall. Even though it didn't perform well at the box office, he can walk tall in the knowledge that he made one of the greatest science fiction films of our generation.
Fig. to be brave and self-assured. I know I can walk tall because I'm innocent. You go out on that stage and walk tall. There is no reason to be afraid.
Show pride and self-confidence, as in The most important thing she taught us was to walk tall. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
If you walk tall, you behave in a proud and confident way. I learned to walk tall, to hold my head up high and be proud of myself.
walk tallfeel justifiable pride. informal
1992 Woman This week stop wishing you were somehow different. Start to walk tall!
walk ˈtallfeel proud and confident: When I finally got a job after years of unemployment, I felt I could walk tall again.
in. to be brave and self-assured. (see also stand tall.) I know I can walk tall because I’m innocent.
walk tall, to
To show pride and self-confidence. This twentieth-century Americanism, transferring an upright posture to a sense of pride, gained currency in the 1970s from the motion picture Walking Tall (1973), a film so popular that three sequels were made. It was based on a real-life legendary southern sheriff, Buford Pusser, who rid his county of gambling, prostitution, and other crime. The term was current in Britain as well. In 1970, the Manchester Guardian had “Walk tall, sisters . . . One woman’s distinction adds a tiny bit to the stature of every other woman.”
See also: walk