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knell

[nel] /nɛl/
noun
1.
the sound made by a bell rung slowly, especially for a death or a funeral.
2.
a sound or sign announcing the death of a person or the end, extinction, failure, etc., of something:
the knell of parting day.
3.
any mournful sound.
verb (used without object)
4.
to sound, as a bell, especially a funeral bell.
5.
to give forth a mournful, ominous, or warning sound.
verb (used with object)
6.
to proclaim or summon by, or as if by, a bell.
Origin
950
before 950; (noun) Middle English knel, Old English cynll; (v.) Middle English knellen, knyllen, Old English cynllan; cognate with Old Norse knylla to beat, strike; akin to Dutch knal bang, knallen to bang, German Knall explosion, knallen to explode
Related forms
unknelled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for knell

knell

/nɛl/
noun
1.
the sound of a bell rung to announce a death or a funeral
2.
something that precipitates or indicates death or destruction
verb
3.
(intransitive) to ring a knell
4.
(transitive) to proclaim or announce by or as if by a tolling bell
Word Origin
Old English cnyll; related to Middle High German knüllen to strike, Dutch knallen to bang
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 knell
n.

Old English cnyll "sound made by a bell when struck or rung slowly," perhaps of imitative origin. The Welsh cnull "death-bell" appears to be a borrowing from English. For vowel evolution, see bury.

v.

Old English cnyllan "to toll a bell; strike, knock," cognate with Middle High German erknellen "to resound," Old Norse knylla "to beat, thrash;" probably imitative. Related: Knelled; knelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with knell

knell

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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