knell

noun
\ ˈnel How to pronounce knell (audio) \

Definition of knell

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a stroke or sound of a bell especially when rung slowly (as for a death, funeral, or disaster)
2 : an indication of the end or the failure of something sounded the death knell for our hopes

knell

verb
knelled; knelling; knells

Definition of knell (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to summon or announce by or as if by a knell

intransitive verb

1 : to ring especially for a death, funeral, or disaster : toll
2 : to sound in an ominous manner or with an ominous effect

Synonyms for knell

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of knell in a Sentence

Verb the church bells knelled to mark the death of the nation's beloved leader
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If Musk follows through on what he's proposed, the sale may be the death knell for the social media platform. Kara Alaimo, CNN, 25 Apr. 2022 Or will they be seen with regret, the Games that sounded the death knell for the Olympics? Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2022 Less than a year after the Times feature was published, the announcement of Donald Trump's presidential campaign sounded the death knell of the libertarian moment (along with Rand Paul's own bid for the presidency). Samuel Goldman, The Week, 2 Feb. 2022 The resignation of two senior prosecutors appears to be the death knell for the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation of Donald Trump. Nr Editors, National Review, 3 Mar. 2022 Thursday’s roadblock did not signal the death knell for the idea. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Feb. 2022 Though Anderson and Lee are metal fans, the series ironically uses styles and songs from the Clinton years that marked the death knell for Sunset Strip rock: Primal Scream, Fatboy Slim, Alanis Morissette. Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times, 1 Feb. 2022 In what appeared to be the death knell for the game, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a deal last year giving the Seminole tribe, which already runs the state’s biggest casinos, a monopoly over online sports betting. Joshua Goodman, sun-sentinel.com, 28 Mar. 2022 In what appeared to be the death knell for the game, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a deal last year giving the Seminole tribe, which already runs the state’s biggest casinos, a monopoly over online sports betting. Joshua Goodman, orlandosentinel.com, 28 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Day 18: Hard to focus with all the death knells tolling. Daniel Pollack-pelzner, The New Yorker, 1 Apr. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'knell.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of knell

Noun

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

Verb

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

History and Etymology for knell

Verb and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for knell

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near knell

Kneippism

knell

Kneller

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Statistics for knell

Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Knell.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/knell. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for knell

knell

noun
\ ˈnel How to pronounce knell (audio) \

Kids Definition of knell

1 : a stroke or sound of a bell especially when rung slowly for a death, funeral, or disaster
2 : an indication of the end or failure of something "… it sounds the death knell of our society."— Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

More from Merriam-Webster on knell

Nglish: Translation of knell for Spanish Speakers

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