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passing bell

a bell tolled to announce a death or funeral.
a portent or sign of the passing away of anything.
Origin of passing bell
1520-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for passing-bell
Historical Examples
  • Suddenly the chimes of a neighboring church ring the passing-bell.

    The Iron Pincers Eugne Sue
  • I wish we could find out if the passing-bell was tolling for her.

  • It was frail, shrill, poignant as a lament and more solemn than a passing-bell, for all its hurry and lightness.

    The Woman of Mystery Maurice Leblanc
  • Well, at last he rung the bell: O, thought I, that it was my passing-bell!

    Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded Samuel Richardson
  • The procession moved slowly along,—the passing-bell tolling each minute, and a muffled drum sounding hollowly at intervals.

    The Lancashire Witches William Harrison Ainsworth
  • Had you married me to a Bagpipe, or a passing-bell, I should have been better pleased.

  • Then again the song of nightingales, the croak of frogs, sounds of clarinet and passing-bell.

    The Green Book Mr Jkai
  • He often felt the necessity of asserting himself, lest he should presently hear his own passing-bell and epitaph.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • She had a fancy for the passing-bell, and begged that it should be tolled the minute the breath was out of her body, poor soul!

  • At that moment the passing-bell tolled out—three times three; its succession of quick strokes following it.

    Johnny Ludlow, Third Series Mrs. Henry Wood
British Dictionary definitions for passing-bell

passing bell

a bell rung to announce a death or a funeral Also called death bell, death knell
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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