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Word of the Day
Thursday, July 06, 2000

Definitions for tocsin

  1. An alarm bell, or the ringing of a bell for the purpose of alarm.
  2. A warning.

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Citations for tocsin
Some of the allegations put round are so frenzied, however, that some caution should be exercised before the tocsin is rung too loudly. , Times (London)
The first atomic bomb fell and its radioactive cloud became a tocsin for mankind. Herbert Mitgang, New York Times
Origin of tocsin
1580-1590
Tocsin derives from Medieval French touquesain, from Old Provençal tocasenh, from tocar, "to touch, to strike, to ring a bell" + senh, "church bell," ultimately from Latin signum, "sign, signal."