bell

noun (1)
\ ˈbel How to pronounce bell (audio) \

Definition of bell

 (Entry 1 of 6)

1a : a hollow metallic device that gives off a reverberating sound when struck
b : doorbell
2a : the sounding of a bell as a signal
b : a stroke of a bell (as on shipboard) to indicate the time also : the time so indicated
c : a half hour period of a watch on shipboard indicated by the strokes of a bell — see Ship's Bells Table below
3 : something having the form of a bell: such as
a : the corolla of a flower
b : a bell-shaped organ or part (such as the dewlap of a moose) especially : the bell- or saucer-shaped, largely gelatinous structure that forms the main part of the body of most jellyfish : umbrella entry 1 sense 3
c : the part of the capital of a column between the abacus and neck molding
d : the flared end of a wind instrument
e : the open mouth of a nozzle (such as of the exhaust of a jet engine) The heating was so intense … that the gas went rushing out the tail of the engine at 30,000 feet per second, or twice the speed at which exhaust leaves the bell of a conventional engine.— Jeffrey Kluger
4a : a percussion instrument consisting of metal bars or tubes that when struck give out tones resembling bells usually used in plural
get/have one's bell rung
US & Canada, informal, sports
: to be hit on the head : to suffer a concussion He had his bell rung on a blitz, and a short time later he was taken to Divine Providence Hospital.— Ralph Wiley
give (someone) a bell
British, informal
: to make a telephone call to Maybe Cowell can give him a bell towards the end of his marathon broadcast—that would certainly wake him up.— Mark Jefferies
bell table

bell

verb (1)
belled; belling; bells

Definition of bell (Entry 2 of 6)

transitive verb

1 : to provide with a bell
2 : to flare the end of (something, such as a tube) into the shape of a bell

intransitive verb

: to take the form of a bell : flare
bell the cat
: to do a daring or risky deed

bell

verb (2)
belled; belling; bells

Definition of bell (Entry 3 of 6)

intransitive verb

: to make a resonant bellowing or baying sound the wild buck bells from ferny brake— Sir Walter Scott

bell

noun (2)

Definition of bell (Entry 4 of 6)

Bell

biographical name
\ ˈbel How to pronounce Bell (audio) \

Definition of Bell (Entry 5 of 6)

Alexander Graham 1847–1922 American (Scottish-born) inventor

Bell

geographical name
\ ˈbel How to pronounce Bell (audio) \

Definition of Bell (Entry 6 of 6)

city in southwestern California southeast of Los Angeles population 35,477

First Known Use of bell

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1510, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bell

Noun (1)

Middle English belle, from Old English; perhaps akin to Old English bellan to roar — more at bellow

Verb (2)

Middle English, going back to Old English bellan "to roar" — more at bellow

Noun (2)

noun derivative of bell entry 3

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bell

Statistics for bell

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bell

The first known use of bell was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bell

bell

noun
\ ˈbel How to pronounce bell (audio) \

Kids Definition of bell

1 : a hollow metallic device that is shaped somewhat like a cup and makes a ringing sound when struck
2 : doorbell
3 : the stroke or sound of a bell that tells the hour
4 : the time indicated by the stroke of a bell
5 : a half-hour period of watch on shipboard
6 : something shaped like a bell the bell of a trumpet

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on bell

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bell

Spanish Central: Translation of bell

Nglish: Translation of bell for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bell for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bell

Comments on bell

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

WORD OF THE DAY

something valued as if it were money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!