follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

tocsin

[tok-sin] /ˈtɒk sɪn/
noun
1.
a signal, especially of alarm, sounded on a bell or bells.
2.
a bell used to sound an alarm.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; < Middle French < Provençal tocasenh literally, (it) strikes (the) bell, equivalent to toca, 3rd singular present of tocar to strike, touch + senh bell, sign
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for tocsin
  • In every city throughout the country thousands have watched eagerly for the sounding of the tocsin.
  • The tocsin sounds from the neighboring church, people run.
British Dictionary definitions for tocsin

tocsin

/ˈtɒksɪn/
noun
1.
an alarm or warning signal, esp one sounded on a bell
2.
an alarm bell
Word Origin
C16: from French, from Old French toquassen, from Old Provençal tocasenh, from tocar to touch + senh bell, from Latin signum
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for tocsin
tocsin
"alarm bell," 1586, from M.Fr. toquassen "an alarm bell, the ringing of an alarm bell" (1372), from O.Prov. tocasenh, from tocar "to strike" (from V.L. *toccare "strike a bell;" see touch) + senh "bell, bell note," from L.L. signum "bell, ringing of a bell," in L. "mark, signal." The current Eng. spelling is from 1794, adopted from modern Fr.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for tocsin

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for tocsin

8
10
Scrabble Words With Friends