A bell is a hollow object, usually made of metal, that makes a deep ringing sound when it's hit or shaken. In the old days, the sound of a dinner bell meant that it was time to eat.

A belly dancer might have tiny bells on her costume that ring as she moves, and the church in your neighborhood might have a huge bell that's rung every hour. Other kinds of bells include a door bell, a bicycle bell, or a school bell, all of which make a sound to signal something. The Old English root is belle, from a Proto-Indo-European source, bhel-, "to sound" or "to roar."

Definitions of bell
  1. noun
    a hollow device made of metal that makes a ringing sound when struck
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    Liberty Bell
    the bell of Independence Hall; rung 8 July 1776 to announce the signing of the Declaration of Independence
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    church bell
    a bell in a church tower (usually sounded to summon people to church)
    a bell hung around the neck of cow so that the cow can be easily located
    death bell, death knell
    a bell rung to announce a death
    dinner bell
    a bell rung to announce that dinner has been served
    electric bell
    a bell activated by the magnetic effect of an electric current
    fire bell
    a bell rung to give a fire alarm
    school bell
    a bell rung to announce beginning or ending of class
    sheep bell
    a bell hung round the neck of a sheep so that the sheep can be easily located
    shop bell
    a bell attached to the door of a small shop; warns the proprietor that a customer has entered the shop
    cascabel, sleigh bell
    a bell attached to a sleigh, or to the harness of a horse that is pulling a sleigh
    tocsin, warning bell
    a bell used to sound an alarm
    telephone bell
    electric bell that rings to signal a call
    type of:
    acoustic device
    a device for amplifying or transmitting sound
    signaling device
    a device used to send signals
  2. noun
    a push button at an outer door that gives a ringing or buzzing signal when pushed
    synonyms: buzzer, doorbell
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    night bell
    a doorbell to be used at night
    type of:
    button, push, push button
    an electrical switch operated by pressing
  3. noun
    a percussion instrument consisting of a set of tuned bells that are struck with a hammer; used as an orchestral instrument
    synonyms: chime, gong
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    set of bells hung in a bell tower
    a bell that is held in the hand
    type of:
    percussion instrument, percussive instrument
    a musical instrument in which the sound is produced by one object striking another
  4. noun
    the sound of a bell being struck
    “saved by the bell
    “she heard the distant toll of church bells
    synonyms: toll
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    the sound of a bell rung slowly to announce a death or a funeral or the end of something
    angelus, angelus bell
    the sound of a bell rung in Roman Catholic churches to announce the time when the Angelus should be recited
    type of:
    the sudden occurrence of an audible event
  5. noun
    the shape of a bell
    synonyms: bell shape, campana
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    type of:
    curve, curved shape
    the trace of a point whose direction of motion changes
  6. noun
    the flared opening of a tubular device
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    type of:
    a vacant or unobstructed space that is man-made
  7. verb
    attach a bell to
    bell cows”
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    type of:
    cause to be attached
  8. noun
    (nautical) each of the eight half-hour units of nautical time signaled by strokes of a ship's bell; eight bells signals 4:00, 8:00, or 12:00 o'clock, either a.m. or p.m.
    synonyms: ship's bell
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    type of:
    time unit, unit of time
    a unit for measuring time periods
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