\ 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 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, "What It Was Really Like to be Part of Prince William and Kate Middleton's Wedding," 25 Apr. 2021 Then the bittersweet peal of her mother’s bell would beckon her home for dinner. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, "Bringing the outside in: How one songwriter finds creativity," 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, "In Slum at Epicenter of Duterte’s Drug Crackdown, Fear and Love Coexist," 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, "Queen Elizabeth II marks 94th birthday with a Zoom party," 21 Apr. 2020 Now at my own table, the taste rings with the familiar peal of chiles and herbs; the flavor is almost nostalgic. Los Angeles Times, "20 great L.A. places for Mexican food delivery and takeout," 3 Apr. 2020 For raising a joy up in me that bursts forth in uninhibited raucous peals of laughter. Eric Todisco,, "Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley Celebrate 12th Wedding Anniversary: 'Forever Blessed'," 24 Dec. 2019 Every time Wakeling attempts a flight of fancy, Roger foils him, with help from the sax peals of Lionel Augustus Martin, a.k.a. Alfred Soto, Billboard, "Ranking Full Stop: How Ranking Roger Helped Make The English Beat New Wave's Greatest Fusion Act," 27 Mar. 2019 That prompted the mayor to urge the city’s 70,000 residents to keep quiet in the area, though there wasn’t much anyone could do about the peal of church bells or the drone of airplanes occasionally passing overhead. Chuck Squatriglia, Popular Science, "Inside the extraordinary experiment to save the Stradivarius sound," 10 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Their familysong, pealing like bells just beyond reach. Hilary Leichter, Harper's Magazine, "Terrace Story," 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, "Still Menaced by Flooding, Louisiana Dodges a Storm’s Worst Blows," 14 July 2019 The bell now resides at the Presbyterian church, pealing electronically rather than through physical ringing. Laura Bednar, cleveland, "Independence opens historical homes for holiday tour," 2 Dec. 2019 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

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

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Peal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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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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