\ 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

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Synonyms for peal

Synonyms: Verb

bong, chime, knell, ring, toll

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Examples of peal in a Sentence


the peal of wedding bells


the village bells pealed every hour in commemoration

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In Game 4 Monday night, James drifted in an 8-footer in the third quarter, on which the ball flew over the corner of the backboard and landed in the net with a whispering swish that brought a peal of thunder from the crowd. Bill Livingston,, "LeBron James and the toolbox, the repertoire, the sweep: Bill Livingston (photos)," 7 May 2018 Langen gives #2 a tremulousness that’s equally capable of bursting into tears or cheering with a stentorian peal. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Marin Theatre Company’s ‘The Wolves,’ about a girls’ soccer team, a shut-out win," 21 Mar. 2018 As Maldonado, Garcia and Caballero spoke, their words were often weighted with an emotion that contrasted with peals of laughter and lively discussions coming from several students working with mentors. Thacher Schmid,, "In Oregon, one college tries to make a home for 'Dreamers'," 19 Mar. 2018 His quiet, mischievous sense of humor was always greeted with peals of laughter from those in on the joke., "Mark Edmund Callahan," 30 Jan. 2018 Arranging themselves a few to each piano, these interlopers began to press the keys, too, for a climactic effect that eventually matched the rich, chaotic peal of a full carillon of church bells. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, "A Long-Lost Composer Is Raised From the Dead," 29 Jan. 2018 Together, these forces gathered strength, peaked, and faded, yielding to the high peals of a lone basset horn. Zachary Lewis,, "Cleveland Orchestra welcomes new year with stupendous farewell in Mahler's Symphony No. 9 (review)," 12 Jan. 2018 People were transported into altered states, gyrating their pelvises, bursting into peals of unrestrained, almost feral laughter, even leaping to their feet to dance. Casey Schwartz, New York Times, "How to Hack Your Brain (for $5,000)," 21 Sep. 2017 Following three peals of the ship’s alarm (long, short, long), the crew members assembled on the foredeck for their first ever nighttime rescue. Hereward Holland, National Geographic, "An Up-Close Look at Refugee Rescues on the Mediterranean," 12 Sep. 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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, "Milwaukee Symphony stirs brilliant waves in 'Become Ocean'," 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, "Jeff Sessions Is Not Donald Trump's Lawyer," 18 Oct. 2017 But this time the guitarist peals a blistering line that seems to run the head melody backward. John Kaag, WSJ, "How Improvisation Happens," 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, "Big Ben bell falls silent in London for repairs until 2021," 21 Aug. 2017 A bell peals calling the faithful to gather under an open-air Tabernacle in front of a stage bedecked with green bunting. Jill Yesko,, "Raising their voices: Hymn sings remain a summer tradition at Emory Grove," 15 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for peal

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

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on peal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with peal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for peal

Spanish Central: Translation of peal

Nglish: Translation of peal for Spanish Speakers

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