See also: Bell, bèll, and bell'



A large bell
A bicycle bell
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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English belle, from Old English belle ‎(bell), from Proto-Germanic *bellǭ, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- ‎(to sound, resound, talk, roar, bello). Cognate with West Frisian belle, bel ‎(bell), Dutch bel ‎(bell), Low German Belle, Bel ‎(bell), Danish bjelde ‎(bell), Swedish bjälla ‎(bell), Norwegian bjelle ‎(bell), Icelandic bjalla ‎(bell).


bell ‎(plural bells)

  1. A percussive instrument made of metal or other hard material, typically but not always in the shape of an inverted cup with a flared rim, which resonates when struck.
    • 1848, Edgar Allan Poe, "The Bells"
      HEAR the sledges with the bells
      Silver bells!
      What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
  2. The sounding of a bell as a signal.
    • 2011 December 18, Ben Dirs, “Carl Froch outclassed by dazzling Andre Ward”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Referee Steve Smoger was an almost invisible presence in the ring as both men went at it, although he did have a word with Froch when he landed with a shot after the bell at the end of the eighth.
  3. (chiefly Britain, informal) A telephone call.
    I’ll give you a bell later.
  4. A signal at a school that tells the students when a class is starting or ending.
  5. (music) The flared end of a brass or woodwind instrument.
  6. (nautical) Any of a series of strokes on a bell (or similar), struck every half hour to indicate the time (within a four hour watch)
  7. The flared end of a pipe, designed to mate with a narrow spigot.
  8. (computing) A device control code that produces a beep (or rings a small electromechanical bell on older teleprinters etc.).
  9. Anything shaped like a bell, such as the cup or corolla of a flower.
    • Shakespeare
      In a cowslip's bell I lie.
  10. (architecture) The part of the capital of a column included between the abacus and neck molding; also used for the naked core of nearly cylindrical shape, assumed to exist within the leafage of a capital.
  11. An instrument situated on a bicycle's handlebar, used by the cyclist to warn of his or her presence.
Coordinate termsEdit
Derived termsEdit
See alsoEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


bell ‎(third-person singular simple present bells, present participle belling, simple past and past participle belled)

  1. (transitive) To attach a bell to.
    Who will bell the cat?
  2. (transitive) To shape so that it flares out like a bell.
    to bell a tube
  3. (slang, transitive) To telephone.
    • 2006, Dominic Lavin, Last Seen in Bangkok
      "Vinny, you tosser, it's Keith. I thought you were back today. I'm in town. Bell us on the mobile.
  4. (intransitive) To develop bells or corollas; to take the form of a bell; to blossom.
    Hops bell.

Etymology 2Edit

From Old English bellan. Cognate to Dutch bellen ‎(to bark), German bellen ‎(to bark).


bell ‎(third-person singular simple present bells, present participle belling, simple past and past participle belled)

  1. (intransitive) To bellow or roar.
    • 1774, Oliver Goldsmith, A History of the Earth, and Animated Nature:
      This animal is said to harbour in the place where he resides. When he cries, he is said to bell; the print of his hoof is called the slot; his tail is called the single; his excrement the fumet; his horns are called his head [...].
    • (Can we date this quote?) Rudyard Kipling
      As the dawn was breaking the Sambhur belled / Once, twice and again!
    • 1955, William Golding, The Inheritors, Faber and Faber 2005, page 128:
      Then, incredibly, a rutting stag belled by the trunks.


bell ‎(plural bells)

  1. The bellow or bay of certain animals, such as a hound on the hunt or a stag in rut.



From Latin bellus.



bell m ‎(feminine bella, masculine plural bells, feminine plural belles)

  1. beautiful

Related termsEdit





  1. Imperative singular of bellen.
  2. (colloquial) First-person singular present of bellen.
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