\ ˈpēl How to pronounce peal (audio) \

Definition of peal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the loud ringing of bells the peal of wedding bells
b : a complete set of changes (see change entry 2 sense 6) on a given number of bells
c : a set of bells tuned to the tones of the major (see major entry 1 sense 7a) scale for change ringing
2 : a loud sound or succession of sounds peals of laughter peals of thunder


pealed; pealing; peals

Definition of peal (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to give out peals

transitive verb

: to utter or give forth loudly

Synonyms for peal

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of peal in a Sentence

Noun the peal of wedding bells Verb the village bells pealed every hour in commemoration
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But recognizing the drummer’s skill takes nothing away from Green, a vocal mastermind with a unicorn of a falsetto, a grainy, galvanizing mid-range, and the ability to blurt like a horn or wobble like an organ or peal like a church bell. Elias Leight, Rolling Stone, 29 Dec. 2021 The peal delivered a solemn message: Another person had passed away. Sofia Krusmark, The Arizona Republic, 29 July 2021 Now there is another attraction: the church bells have been restored, and Charles was treated to the first official full peal of them for 120 years following a long campaign to get them back inside the 13th century church. Simon Perry,, 8 July 2021 And yet, the same peal of individualism that rang in his predecessor’s words still echoes in his. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 9 June 2021 This was their cue to start ringing what is known as a full peal, which is rung on significant events and anniversaries and involves 10 bells being struck more than 5,000 times each over more than three hours. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, 25 Apr. 2021 Then the bittersweet peal of her mother’s bell would beckon her home for dinner. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Feb. 2021 On a visit, a group of women played poker around a plastic table, their banter breaking out into peals of laughter. Aurora Almendral, New York Times, 2 Apr. 2020 Nor will there be a celebratory peal of bells at Westminster Abbey, as the church where the queen was married and crowned is currently closed. Stephanie Toone, ajc, 21 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Their familysong, pealing like bells just beyond reach. Hilary Leichter, Harper's Magazine, 25 May 2020 The service was interrupted at least twice by emergency alerts pealing from cellphones scattered throughout the congregation. David Montgomery, New York Times, 14 July 2019 The bell now resides at the Presbyterian church, pealing electronically rather than through physical ringing. Laura Bednar, cleveland, 2 Dec. 2019 Winds rose, lightning flickered and thunder crashed and pealed as rain poured down. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2019 The trumpets and horns, facing off on opposite sides of the ensemble, created an energetic, pealing, antiphonal effect in the final hornpipe. Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8 Apr. 2018 That rang a familiar alarm bell in my head that didn't stop pealing throughout JeffBo's time on the stage. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, 18 Oct. 2017 But this time the guitarist peals a blistering line that seems to run the head melody backward. John Kaag, WSJ, 14 July 2017 The crowd burst into cheers and applause as the last faded away, and bells at nearby Westminster Abbey pealed a noisy farewell to their neighbor. Jill Lawless, The Seattle Times, 21 Aug. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of peal


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


1593, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for peal

Noun and Verb

Middle English, appeal, summons to church, short for appel appeal, from appelen to appeal

Learn More About peal

Time Traveler for peal

Time Traveler

The first known use of peal was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near peal




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for peal

Last Updated

31 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Peal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for peal



English Language Learners Definition of peal

: the loud ringing of bells
: a loud sound or series of sounds


\ ˈpēl How to pronounce peal (audio) \

Kids Definition of peal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the sound of bells
2 : a loud sound : a series of loud sounds a peal of thunder


pealed; pealing

Kids Definition of peal (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a loud sound and especially the sound of bells.

More from Merriam-Webster on peal

Nglish: Translation of peal for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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