death knell
Knell Knell, n. [OE. knel, cnul, AS. cnyll, fr. cnyllan to sound a bell; cf. D. & G. knallen to clap, crack, G. & Sw. knall a clap, crack, loud sound, Dan. knalde to clap, crack. Cf. {Knoll}, n. & v.] The stroke of a bell tolled at a funeral or at the death of a person; a death signal; a passing bell; hence, (figuratively), a warning or harbinger of, or a sound indicating, the passing away of anything; -- also called {death knell}. [1913 Webster +PJC]

The dead man's knell Is there scarce asked for who. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day. --Gray. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • death knell — n. 1. A stroke or tolling of a bell, announcing a death; a knell[1]. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence: (figuratively) A sign or harbinger of the end, death, or passing away of anything. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • death knell — n [singular] a sign that something will soon fail or stop existing →↑death blow (sound/strike/toll) the death knell for/of sth ▪ The loss of Georgia would sound the death knell of Republican hopes …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • death knell — ► NOUN 1) the tolling of a bell to mark a death. 2) an event that signals the end of something …   English terms dictionary

  • death knell — death ,knell noun singular LITERARY an event or situation that is a sign of the end of something …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • death knell — noun 1. an omen of death or destruction • Hypernyms: ↑omen, ↑portent, ↑presage, ↑prognostic, ↑prognostication, ↑prodigy 2. a bell rung to announce a death • Syn: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Death knell — A death knell is the ringing of a bell to announce a death. This is also called tolling the bell. The ancient custom of ringing a church bell at the actual time of death (The Passing Bell, or rather the Death Knell) fell into disuse in England by …   Wikipedia

  • death knell — also death knell N SING: usu the N for/of n If you say that something sounds the death knell for a particular person or thing, you mean it will cause that person or thing to fail, end, or cease to exist. The tax increase sounded the death knell… …   English dictionary

  • death knell — {n.}, {formal} 1. The ringing of a bell at a death or funeral. * /The people mourned at the death knell of their friend./ 2. {literary} Something which shows a future failure. * /Bill s poor grade on his final examination sounded the death knell… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • death knell — {n.}, {formal} 1. The ringing of a bell at a death or funeral. * /The people mourned at the death knell of their friend./ 2. {literary} Something which shows a future failure. * /Bill s poor grade on his final examination sounded the death knell… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • death\ knell — noun formal 1. the ringing of a bell at a death or funeral. The people mourned at the death knell of their friend. 2. literary Something which shows a future failure. Bill s poor grade on his final examination sounded the death knell of his hope… …   Словарь американских идиом

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