bell

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."

Primary Meanings of bell

1.
nv
a hollow device made of metal that makes a ringing sound when struck
attach a bell to
2.
n
(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.
Full Definitions of bell
1

n a hollow device made of metal that makes a ringing sound when struck

Examples:
Liberty Bell
the bell of Independence Hall; rung 8 July 1776 to announce the signing of the Declaration of Independence
Types:
show 12 types...
hide 12 types...
church bell
a bell in a church tower (usually sounded to summon people to church)
cowbell
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

n a push button at an outer door that gives a ringing or buzzing signal when pushed

Synonyms:
buzzer, doorbell
Types:
night bell
a doorbell to be used at night
Type of:
button, push, push button
an electrical switch operated by pressing

n a percussion instrument consisting of a set of tuned bells that are struck with a hammer; used as an orchestral instrument

Synonyms:
chime, gong
Types:
carillon
set of bells hung in a bell tower
handbell
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

n the sound of a bell being struck

“saved by the bell
“she heard the distant toll of church bells
Synonyms:
toll
Types:
knell
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:
sound
the sudden occurrence of an audible event

n the shape of a bell

Synonyms:
bell shape, campana
Type of:
curve, curved shape
the trace of a point whose direction of motion changes

n the flared opening of a tubular device

Type of:
opening
a vacant or unobstructed space that is man-made

v attach a bell to

bell cows”
Type of:
attach
cause to be attached
2

n (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
Type of:
time unit, unit of time
a unit for measuring time periods

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