tin·​tin·​nab·​u·​la·​tion | \ ˌtin-tə-ˌna-byə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce tintinnabulation (audio) \

Definition of tintinnabulation

1 : the ringing or sounding of bells
2 : a jingling or tinkling sound as if of bells

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for tintinnabulation


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

If the sound of tintinnabulation rings a bell, that may be because it traces to a Latin interpretation of the sound a ringing bell makes. Our English word derives from tintinnabulum, the Latin word for "bell." That Latin word, in turn, comes from the verb tintinnare, which means "to ring, clang, or jingle." Like the English terms "ting" and "tinkle," tintinnare originated with a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it-that is, it is onomatopoeic. Edgar Allan Poe celebrates the sonic overtones of tintinnabulation in his poem "The Bells," which includes lines about "the tintinnabulation that so musically wells / From the bells, bells, bells, bells, / Bells, bells, bells-/ From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells."

Examples of tintinnabulation in a Sentence

the merry tintinnabulation of church bells
Recent Examples on the Web Adasiewicz’s score reflects the impressionistic quality Christopher describes, the tintinnabulation of his vibraphone echoed in silvery streaks of melody from Berman’s cornet and washes of sound from Drake’s percussion. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Jason Adasiewicz creates a glistening film score," 2 Nov. 2017

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

First Known Use of tintinnabulation

1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tintinnabulation

Latin tintinnabulum bell, from tintinnare to ring, jingle, from tinnire

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tintinnabulation

Time Traveler for tintinnabulation

Time Traveler

The first known use of tintinnabulation was in 1831

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about tintinnabulation

Statistics for tintinnabulation

Cite this Entry

“Tintinnabulation.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tintinnabulation. Accessed 23 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tintinnabulation


How to pronounce tintinnabulation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tintinnabulation

literary : the sound of ringing bells

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on tintinnabulation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tintinnabulation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tintinnabulation

Britannica English: Translation of tintinnabulation for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tintinnabulation

What made you want to look up tintinnabulation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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