Definition of tintinnabulation
1 : the ringing or sounding of bells
2 : a jingling or tinkling sound as if of bells
tintinnabulation was our Word of the Day on 01/19/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of tintinnabulation in a Sentence
the merry tintinnabulation of church bells
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."
Origin and Etymology of tintinnabulation
Latin tintinnabulum bell, from tintinnare to ring, jingle, from tinnire
First Known Use: 1831See Words from the same year
TINTINNABULATION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of tintinnabulation for English Language Learners
: the sound of ringing bells
Learn More about tintinnabulation
See words that rhyme with tintinnabulation Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tintinnabulation Britannica English: Translation of tintinnabulation for Arabic speakers
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