EtymologyOE. 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.
- 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.Shak.The curfew tolls the knell of parting day.Gray.
Noun, Participle Past, Verbal Noun, Verb, Verb Intransitive, Participle Presentknell
- 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, Verbknell
- To summon, as by a knell.Each matin bell, the baron saith, Knells us back to a world of death.Coleridge.
from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
See also Thesaurus:knell
- knell : the sound of a bell rung slowly to announce a death or a funeral or the end of something
- knell : ring as in announcing death
- knell, ring : make (bells) ring, often for the purposes of musical edification
- Ring the bells
- My uncle rings every Sunday at the local church