\ 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

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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 The sharp peal of a bell knifes through loud gunfire. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, "Review: Logitech G Pro X is a complete package for gamers," 22 Aug. 2019 But a new, exhaustive boxed set transports listeners to the real, unedited Woodstock: every blaring stage announcement about the dangers of brown acid, peal of stage feedback and whir of helicopter blades restored. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "10 Must-Hear Tracks From the Massive New Woodstock Anniversary Box Set," 2 Aug. 2019 Each peal of the bell pierced the air, then subsided into a ringing vibration that lasted several seconds. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Veterans ceremony honors Congress members from the armed forces," 21 July 2019 Orliński’s cadenza began on an A, his voice rising like a peal of bells up to a high F and then descending, with a trill, to the F an octave lower. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "A Millennial Countertenor’s Pop-Star Appeal," 15 July 2019 Inside the theater, the audience, mostly silent just a moment ago, breaks out into peals of laughter. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "When a Lie Becomes Your Breakout Film," 14 July 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Winds rose, lightning flickered and thunder crashed and pealed as rain poured down. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Evening deluge pelts the District with hail," 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, "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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for peal

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Peal.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for peal


How to pronounce peal (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for peal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with peal

Spanish Central: Translation of peal

Nglish: Translation of peal for Spanish Speakers

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