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Word of the Day
Monday, August 18, 2008

Definitions for knell

  1. The stroke of a bell tolled at a funeral or at the death of a person; a death signal; a passing bell; hence, figuratively, a warning of, or a sound indicating, the passing away of anything.
  2. To sound as a knell; especially, to toll at a death or funeral; hence, to sound as a warning or evil omen.

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Citations for knell
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me. Gray, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
The Bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a Knell, That summons thee to Heaven, or to Hell. Shakespeare, Macbeth
Origin of knell
950
From the Old English cnyll, cnell, "the sound of bells."