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peal

[peel] /pil/
noun
1.
a loud, prolonged ringing of bells.
2.
a set of bells tuned to one another.
3.
a series of changes rung on a set of bells.
4.
any loud, sustained sound or series of sounds, as of cannon, thunder, applause, or laughter.
verb (used with object)
5.
to sound loudly and sonorously:
to peal the bells of a tower.
6.
Obsolete. to assail with loud sounds.
verb (used without object)
7.
to sound forth in a peal; resound.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English pele, akin to peal to beat, strike (now dial.)
Related forms
interpeal, verb (used with object)
unpealed, adjective
Can be confused
peal, peel (see synonym study at peel)
Synonyms
4. reverberation, resounding, clangor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for peals
  • In the old days it was done with bells, five peals repeated four times.
  • Many of the situations brought forth peals of laughter yesterday.
  • peals of laughter greeted this incident yesterday afternoon.
  • Moreover, the practical consequences of the court of ap peals' decision sweep far beyond office searches.
British Dictionary definitions for peals

peal1

/piːl/
noun
1.
a loud prolonged usually reverberating sound, as of bells, thunder, or laughter
2.
(bell-ringing) a series of changes rung in accordance with specific rules, consisting of not fewer than 5000 permutations in a ring of eight bells
3.
(not in technical usage) the set of bells in a belfry
verb
4.
(intransitive) to sound with a peal or peals
5.
(transitive) to give forth loudly and sonorously
6.
(transitive) to ring (bells) in peals
Word Origin
C14 pele, variant of apeleappeal

peal2

/piːl/
noun
1.
a dialect name for a grilse or a young sea trout
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 peals

peal

n.

mid-14c., "a ringing of a bell" especially as a call to church service, generally considered a shortened form of appeal (n.), with the notion of a bell that "summons" people to church (cf. similar evolution in peach (v.)). Extended sense of "loud ringing of bells" is first recorded 1510s.

v.

1630s, from peal (n.). Related: Pealed; pealing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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7
9
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