Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

knell

play
verb \ˈnel\

Definition of knell

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to summon or announce by or as if by a knell

  3. intransitive verb
  4. 1 :  to ring especially for a death, funeral, or disaster :  toll

  5. 2 :  to sound in an ominous manner or with an ominous effect



Examples of knell in a sentence

  1. <the church bells knelled to mark the death of the nation's beloved leader>



Origin and Etymology of knell

Middle English, from Old English cnyllan; akin to Middle High German erknellen to toll


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

knell

noun

Simple Definition of knell

  • : a sound of a bell when it is rung slowly because someone has died

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of knell

  1. 1 :  a stroke or sound of a bell especially when rung slowly (as for a death, funeral, or disaster)

  2. 2 :  an indication of the end or the failure of something <sounded the death knell for our hopes>

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of knell

before 12th century

Rhymes with knell



KNELL Defined for Kids

knell

play
noun \ˈnel\

Definition of knell for Students

  1. 1 :  a stroke or sound of a bell especially when rung slowly for a death, funeral, or disaster

  2. 2 :  an indication of the end or failure of something <“… it sounds the death knell of our society.” — Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up knell? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a simplified speech bridging languages

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

philistine melancholy frenetic lazy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ