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[kou-bel] /ˈkaʊˌbɛl/
a bell hung around a cow's neck to indicate its whereabouts.
the bladder campion.
Origin of cowbell
1805-15; cow1 + bell1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cowbell
  • One last thing, make sure to have someone play cowbell along with you.
  • He was, in a strictly metaphorical way, the guy who played the cowbell that made the funky song groove.
  • Then a chorus of employees chime in, complete with guitars, drums and a cowbell.
  • To avoid surprise meetings, talk with companions, whistle or fasten a cowbell to your backpack or clothing.
  • We wanted to avoid any kind of cowbell chorus deep in the tunnel.
  • Students painted the paper mache and added pink pipe cleaners for eyelashes and a cowbell with the recycle symbol.
  • So does whistling, singing or fastening a cowbell to your backpack or clothing.
British Dictionary definitions for cowbell


a bell hung around a cow's neck so that the cow can be easily located
a metal percussion instrument usually mounted on the bass drum or hand-held and struck with a drumstick
(US) another name for bladder campion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cowbell

1650s, American English, from cow (n.1) + bell (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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