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[chahym] /tʃaɪm/
an apparatus for striking a bell so as to produce a musical sound, as one at the front door of a house by which visitors announce their presence.
Often, chimes.
  1. a set of bells or of slabs of metal, stone, wood, etc., producing musical tones when struck.
  2. a musical instrument consisting of such a set, especially a glockenspiel.
  3. the musical tones thus produced.
  4. carillon.
harmonious sound in general; music; melody.
harmonious relation; accord:
the battling duo, in chime at last.
verb (used without object), chimed, chiming.
to sound harmoniously or in chimes, as a set of bells:
The church bells chimed at noon.
to produce a musical sound by striking a bell, gong, etc.; ring chimes:
The doorbell chimed.
to speak in cadence or singsong.
to harmonize; agree:
The scenery chimed perfectly with the play's eerie mood.
verb (used with object), chimed, chiming.
to give forth (music, sound, etc.), as a bell or bells.
to strike (a bell, set of bells, etc.) so as to produce musical sound.
to put, bring, indicate, announce, etc., by chiming:
Bells chimed the hour.
to utter or repeat in cadence or singsong:
The class chimed a greeting to the new teacher.
Verb phrases
chime in,
  1. to break suddenly and unwelcomely into a conversation, as to express agreement or voice an opinion.
  2. to harmonize with, as in singing.
  3. to be consistent or compatible; agree:
    The new building will not chime in with the surrounding architecture.
1250-1300; Middle English chymbe belle, by false analysis of *chimbel, Old English cimbal cymbal
Related forms
chimer, noun
unchiming, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for chimed
  • Opponents dismissed these as cheap campaign shots, but they chimed with the mood in the province.
  • News-media outlets chimed in by framing dire urban problems as somehow predominantly a threat to suburbanites.
  • The others soon chimed in with suggestions and the exam closed with questions about his future plans for research and writing.
  • For the first ten minutes or so, an interpreter chimed in.
  • Then a forensic dentist who was there chimed in and asked if they had checked the dental records.
  • Politicians chimed in, increasing media attention and even using the events to promote their agendas.
British Dictionary definitions for chimed


an individual bell or the sound it makes when struck
(often pl) the machinery employed to sound a bell in this way
Also called bell. a percussion instrument consisting of a set of vertical metal tubes of graduated length, suspended in a frame and struck with a hammer
a harmonious or ringing sound: the chimes of children's laughter
agreement; concord
  1. to sound (a bell) or (of a bell) to be sounded by a clapper or hammer
  2. to produce (music or sounds) by chiming
(transitive) to indicate or show (time or the hours) by chiming
(transitive) to summon, announce, or welcome by ringing bells
(intransitive) foll by with. to agree or harmonize
to speak or recite in a musical or rhythmic manner
Derived Forms
chimer, noun
Word Origin
C13: probably shortened from earlier chymbe bell, ultimately from Latin cymbalumcymbal


the projecting edge or rim of a cask or barrel
Word Origin
Old English cimb-; related to Middle Low German kimme outer edge, Swedish kimb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for chimed



c.1300, chymbe "cymbal," from Old English cymbal, cimbal, also perhaps through Old French chimbe or directly from Latin cymbalum (see cymbal, the modern word for what this word originally meant). Evidently the word was misinterpreted as chymbe bellen (c.1300) and its sense shifted to "chime bells," a meaning attested from mid-15c.


mid-14c., chyme, from chime (n.). Originally of metal, etc.; of voices from late 14c. To chime in originally was musical, "join harmoniously;" of conversation by 1838. Related: Chimed; chiming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for chimed


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The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for chimed


any of several sets of tuned percussion instruments. Most frequently "chime" refers to the bell chime (q.v.), but it also denotes tubular bells (q.v.), or orchestral bells; the stone chimes (q.v.), or lithophone; drum chimes, sets of tuned drums found in Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand; and gong (q.v.) chimes, the sets of tuned gongs used in the gamelan orchestras of Southeast Asia.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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