death knell

noun

1
2
: an action or event presaging death or destruction
the coming of the power press was the death knell of the hand press

Word History

First Known Use

1773, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of death knell was in 1773

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near death knell

Cite this Entry

“Death knell.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/death%20knell. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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