Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Bell

Bell

,
Noun.
[AS.
belle
, fr.
bellan
to bellow. See
Bellow
.]
1.
A hollow metallic vessel, usually shaped somewhat like a cup with a flaring mouth, containing a clapper or tongue, and giving forth a ringing sound on being struck.
☞ Bells have been made of various metals, but the best have always been, as now, of an alloy of copper and tin.
The Liberty Bell
,
the famous bell of the Philadelphia State House, which rang when the Continental Congress declared the Independence of the United States, in 1776. It had been cast in 1753, and upon it were the words “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, to all the inhabitants thereof.”
2.
A hollow perforated sphere of metal containing a loose ball which causes it to sound when moved.
3.
Anything in the form of a bell, as the cup or corol of a flower.
“In a cowslip’s bell I lie.”
Shak.
4.
(Arch.)
That part of the capital of a column included between the abacus and neck molding; also used for the naked core of nearly cylindrical shape, assumed to exist within the leafage of a capital.
5.
pl.
(Naut.)
The strikes of the bell which mark the time; or the time so designated.
☞ On shipboard, time is marked by a bell, which is struck eight times at 4, 8, and 12 o'clock. Half an hour after it has struck “eight bells” it is struck once, and at every succeeding half hour the number of strokes is increased by one, till at the end of the four hours, which constitute a watch, it is struck eight times.
To bear away the bell
,
to win the prize at a race where the prize was a bell; hence, to be superior in something.
Fuller.
To bear the bell
,
to be the first or leader; – in allusion to the bellwether or a flock, or the leading animal of a team or drove, when wearing a bell.
To curse by bell
,
book
,
and candle
,
a solemn form of excommunication used in the Roman Catholic church, the bell being tolled, the book of offices for the purpose being used, and three candles being extinguished with certain ceremonies.
Nares.
To lose the bell
,
to be worsted in a contest.
“In single fight he lost the bell.”
Fairfax.
To shake the bells
,
to move, give notice, or alarm.
Shak.
Bell is much used adjectively or in combinations; as, bell clapper; bell foundry; bell hanger; bell-mouthed; bell tower, etc., which, for the most part, are self-explaining.
Bell arch
(Arch.)
,
an arch of unusual form, following the curve of an ogee.
Bell cage
, or
Bell carriage
(Arch.)
,
a timber frame constructed to carry one or more large bells.
Bell cot
(Arch.)
,
a small or subsidiary construction, frequently corbeled out from the walls of a structure, and used to contain and support one or more bells.
Bell deck
(Arch.)
,
the floor of a belfry made to serve as a roof to the rooms below.
Bell founder
,
one whose occupation it is to found or cast bells.
Bell foundry
, or
Bell foundery
,
a place where bells are founded or cast.
Bell gable
(Arch.)
,
a small gable-shaped construction, pierced with one or more openings, and used to contain bells.
Bell glass
.
See
Bell jar
.
Bell hanger
,
a man who hangs or puts up bells.
Bell pull
,
a cord, handle, or knob, connecting with a bell or bell wire, and which will ring the bell when pulled.
Aytoun.
Bell punch
,
a kind of conductor's punch which rings a bell when used.
Bell ringer
,
one who rings a bell or bells, esp. one whose business it is to ring a church bell or chime, or a set of musical bells for public entertainment.
Bell roof
(Arch.)
,
a roof shaped according to the general lines of a bell.
Bell rope
,
a rope by which a church or other bell is rung.
Bell tent
,
a circular conical-topped tent.
Bell trap
,
a kind of bell shaped stench trap.

Bell

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Belled
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Belling
.]
To put a bell upon;
as, to
bell
the cat
.
2.
To make bell-mouthed;
as, to
bell
a tube
.

Bell

,
Verb.
I.
To develop bells or corollas; to take the form of a bell; to blossom;
as, hops
bell
.

Bell

,
Verb.
T.
[AS.
bellan
. See
Bellow
.]
To utter by bellowing.
[Obs.]

Bell

,
Verb.
I.
To call or bellow, as the deer in rutting time; to make a bellowing sound; to roar.
As loud as
belleth
wind in hell.
Chaucer.
The wild buck
bells
from ferny brake.
Sir W. Scott.

Webster 1828 Edition


Bell

BELL

,
Noun.
1.
A vessel or hollow body,used for making sounds. Its constituent parts are a barrel or hollow body, enlarged or expanded at one end, an ear or cannon by which it is hung to a beam, and a clapper on the inside. It is formed of a composition of metals. Bells are of high antiquity. The blue tunic of the Jewish High Priest was adorned with golden bells; and the kings of Persia are said to have the hem of their robe adorned with them in like manner. Among the Greeks, those who went the nightly rounds in camps or garrisons, used to ring a bell, at each sentinel-box, to see that the soldier on duty was awake. Bells were also put on the necks of criminals, to warn persons to move out of the way of so ill an omen, as the sight of a criminal or his executioner; also on the necks of beasts and birds, and in houses. In churches and other public buildings, bells are now used to notify the time of meeting of any congregation or other assembly.
In private houses, bells are used to call servants, either hung and moved by a wire, or as hand-bells. Small bells are also used in electrical experiments.
2.
A hollow body of metal, perforated, and containing a solid ball, to give sounds when shaken; used on animals, as on horses or hawks.
3.
Any thing in form of a bell, as the cup or calix of a flower.
To bear the bell, is to be the first or leader, in allusion to the bell-wether of a flock, or the leading horse of a team or drove, that wears bells on his collar.
To shake the bells, a phrase of Shakespeare, signifies to move, give notice or alarm.

Definition 2023


Bell

Bell

See also: bell, bèll, and bell'

English

Proper noun

Bell

  1. A Scottish and northern English surname for a bell ringer, bellmaker, or from someone who lived "at the Bell (inn)"
  2. The Bell telephone company (after Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone.)
  3. A male given name occasionally transferred from the surname.
  4. A female given name, a variant of Belle; mostly used as a middle name in the 19th century.
    • 1857 Charles Dickens, The Perils of Certain English Prisoners, Chapter 1:
      I couldn’t make out her name at first; for, when she gave it in answer to my inquiry, it sounded like Beltot, which didn’t sound right. But, when we became better acquainted—which was while Charker and I were drinking sugar-cane sangaree, which she made in a most excellent manner—I found that her Christian name was Isabella, which they shortened into Bell, and that the name of the deceased non-commissioned officer was Tott. Being the kind of neat little woman it was natural to make a toy of—I never saw a woman so like a toy in my life—she had got the plaything name of Belltott. In short, she had no other name on the island.

Derived terms

Noun

Bell (plural Bells)

  1. (US, Canada) a telephone utility; a Baby Bell.

bell

bell

See also: Bell, bèll, and bell'

English

A large bell
A bicycle bell

Noun

bell (plural bells)

  1. A percussive instrument made of metal or other hard material, typically but not always in the shape of an inverted cup with a flared rim, which resonates when struck.
    • 1848, Edgar Allan Poe, "The Bells"
      HEAR the sledges with the bells
      Silver bells!
      What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
  2. The sounding of a bell as a signal.
    • 2011 December 18, Ben Dirs, “Carl Froch outclassed by dazzling Andre Ward”, in BBC Sport:
      Referee Steve Smoger was an almost invisible presence in the ring as both men went at it, although he did have a word with Froch when he landed with a shot after the bell at the end of the eighth.
  3. (chiefly Britain, informal) A telephone call.
    I’ll give you a bell later.
  4. A signal at a school that tells the students when a class is starting or ending.
  5. (music) The flared end of a brass or woodwind instrument.
  6. (nautical) Any of a series of strokes on a bell (or similar), struck every half hour to indicate the time (within a four hour watch)
  7. The flared end of a pipe, designed to mate with a narrow spigot.
  8. (computing) A device control code that produces a beep (or rings a small electromechanical bell on older teleprinters etc.).
  9. Anything shaped like a bell, such as the cup or corolla of a flower.
    • Shakespeare
      In a cowslip's bell I lie.
  10. (architecture) The part of the capital of a column included between the abacus and neck molding; also used for the naked core of nearly cylindrical shape, assumed to exist within the leafage of a capital.
  11. An instrument situated on a bicycle's handlebar, used by the cyclist to warn of his or her presence.
Synonyms
  • (in heraldry): campane
  • (rare): tintinnabule
Hyponyms
Meronyms
Holonyms
Coordinate terms
Derived terms
See also
Translations

Verb

bell (third-person singular simple present bells, present participle belling, simple past and past participle belled)

  1. (transitive) To attach a bell to.
    Who will bell the cat?
  2. (transitive) To shape so that it flares out like a bell.
    to bell a tube
  3. (slang, transitive) To telephone.
    • 2006, Dominic Lavin, Last Seen in Bangkok
      "Vinny, you tosser, it's Keith. I thought you were back today. I'm in town. Bell us on the mobile.
  4. (intransitive) To develop bells or corollas; to take the form of a bell; to blossom.
    Hops bell.
Translations

Etymology 2

From Old English bellan. Cognate to Dutch bellen (to bark), German bellen (to bark).

Verb

bell (third-person singular simple present bells, present participle belling, simple past and past participle belled)

  1. (intransitive) To bellow or roar.
    • 1774, Oliver Goldsmith, A History of the Earth, and Animated Nature:
      This animal is said to harbour in the place where he resides. When he cries, he is said to bell; the print of his hoof is called the slot; his tail is called the single; his excrement the fumet; his horns are called his head [...].
    • (Can we date this quote?) Rudyard Kipling
      As the dawn was breaking the Sambhur belled / Once, twice and again!
    • 1955, William Golding, The Inheritors, Faber and Faber 2005, page 128:
      Then, incredibly, a rutting stag belled by the trunks.
Translations

Noun

bell (plural bells)

  1. The bellow or bay of certain animals, such as a hound on the hunt or a stag in rut.
Translations

Catalan

Etymology

From Latin bellus.

Pronunciation

  • (Balearic) IPA(key): /ˈbeʎ/
  • (Central) IPA(key): /ˈbeʎ/
  • (Valencian) IPA(key): /ˈbeʎ/
  • Rhymes: -eʎ

Adjective

bell m (feminine bella, masculine plural bells, feminine plural belles)

  1. beautiful

Related terms

References


German

Verb

bell

  1. Imperative singular of bellen.
  2. (colloquial) First-person singular present of bellen.