noun toc·sin \ˈtäk-sən\

Definition of TOCSIN

:  an alarm bell or the ringing of it
:  a warning signal

Examples of TOCSIN

  1. <the tocsin rang out, warning us of the approaching tornado>
  2. <noted that a sudden drop in a student's grades may be a tocsin of a serious personal problem>

Origin of TOCSIN

Middle French toquassen, from Old Occitan tocasenh, from tocar to touch, ring a bell (from Vulgar Latin *toccare) + senh sign, bell, from Medieval Latin & Latin signum; Medieval Latin, bell, from Late Latin, ringing of a bell, from Latin, mark, sign — more at touch, sign
First Known Use: 1586

Related to TOCSIN

flag, signal

Rhymes with TOCSIN


Next Word in the Dictionary: tocussoPrevious Word in the Dictionary: tocostomeAll Words Near: tocsin
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears