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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.


  1. 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.
    The dead man's knell Is there scarce asked for who.
    The curfew tolls the knell of parting day.

Noun, Participle Past, Verbal Noun, Verb, Verb Intransitive, Participle Present

  1. To sound as a knell; especially, to toll at a death or funeral; hence, to sound as a warning or evil omen.
    Not worth a blessing nor a bell to knell for thee.
    Beau. & Fl.
    Yet all that poets sing, and grief hath known, Of hopes laid waste, knells in that word, “alone”.
    Ld. Lytton.

Verb Transitive, Verb

  1. To summon, as by a knell.
    Each matin bell, the baron saith, Knells us back to a world of death.


 See also Thesaurus:knell


  1. knell : the sound of a bell rung slowly to announce a death or a funeral or the end of something


  1. knell : ring as in announcing death
    • knell is one way to ... peal, ring
    • Sample Sentence(s)
      Something ----s
  2. knell, ring : make (bells) ring, often for the purposes of musical edification
    Ring the bells
    My uncle rings every Sunday at the local church
    • Cause sound, go
    • knell is one way to ... sound
    • ... is a kind of knell toll
    • Sample Sentence(s)
      Somebody ----s somethingSomething ----s something