- 1The sound of a bell, especially when rung solemnly for a death or funeral.More example sentences
- I was sure anyone within five miles would have heard it the way they hear a church bell's knell or a train's whistle.
- The very word is like a knell, signalling the approach of death.
- As the knell died away, a black flag slowly rose up the mast and stopped half-way.
- 1.1Used in reference to an announcement, event, or sound that warns of the end of something: emails and text messages are sounding the knell for the written wordMore example sentences
- If you fear this may be just one more story to sound a warning knell about the IT skills shortage - not to worry.
- The huntsman's horn sounded the final knell when the last traditional hunt by the Tedworth came to en end.
verb[no object] Back to top
- 1.1 [with object] Proclaim (something) by or as if by a knell.More example sentences
- I could almost hear the two-tone foghorns knelling my demise.
Old English cnyll (noun), cnyllan (verb), of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch knal (noun), knallen (verb) 'bang, pop, crack'. The current spelling (dating from the 16th century) is perhaps influenced by bell1.