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See also: Peal




Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English pele, peil, probably an apheretic variant of Middle English apel, appel, from Old French apel (an appeal; pealing of bells).


peal (plural peals)

  1. A loud sound, or a succession of loud sounds, as of bells, thunder, cannon, shouts, laughter, of a multitude, etc.
    • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
      And, falling on a bench, he laughed until the tears ran down his cheeks, I could not help joining; and we laughed together, peal after peal []
    • Hayward
      a fair peal of artillery
    • Shakespeare
      whether those peals of praise be his or no
    • Byron
      and a deep thunder, peal on peal, afar
    • 1986, John le Carré, A Perfect Spy:
      And she has half a mind to weep again now, for Jack Brotherhood, as the front doorbell sounds through the house like a bugle call, three short peals as ever.
  2. A set of bells tuned to each other according to the diatonic scale.
  3. The changes rung on a set of bells.


peal (third-person singular simple present peals, present participle pealing, simple past and past participle pealed)

  1. (intransitive) To sound with a peal or peals.
    • 1864, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Christmas Bells
      Then pealed the bells more loud and deep...
    • 1939, Bing Crosby, In My Merry Oldsmobile
      To the church we'll swiftly steal, then our wedding bells will peal,
      You can go as far you like with me, in my merry Oldsmobile.
    • 2006, New York Times
      The bell pealed 20 times, clanging into the dusk as Mr. Bush’s motorcade drove off.
  2. (transitive) To utter or sound loudly.
    • J. Barlow
      The warrior's name, / Though pealed and chimed on all the tongues of fame.
  3. (transitive) To assail with noise.
    • Milton
      Nor was his ear less pealed.
  4. (intransitive) To resound; to echo.
    • Longfellow
      And the whole air pealed / With the cheers of our men.
  5. (Britain, dialectal) To pour out.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Halliwell to this entry?)
  6. (obsolete) To appeal.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spencer to this entry?)
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit



peal (plural peals)

  1. A small salmon; a grilse; a sewin.




Adessive case of pea.



  1. adessive singular of pea



  1. on, on top of