- The definition of a knell is a low and solemn ringing tone, or a bad omen.
- An example of a knell is a bell rung on the occasion of someone's death.
- An example of a knell is an army losing a small battle thus making it nearly impossible to win a war.
- To knell is defined as to ring something slowly and mournfully.
An example of knell is to ring a bell when a national figure dies.
knell definition by Webster's New World
- to ring in a slow, solemn way; toll
- to sound ominously or mournfully
Origin: Middle English knyllen and amp; (with echoic vowel change) knellen ; from Old English cnyllan, akin to Middle High German (er)knellen: probably echoic
- the sound of a bell, esp. of a bell rung slowly, as at a funeral
- an omen of death, failure, etc.
knell definition by American Heritage Dictionary
verb knelled, knell·ing, knells verb, intransitive
- To ring slowly and solemnly, especially for a funeral; toll.
- To give forth a mournful or ominous sound.
- The sound of a bell knelling; a toll.
- A signal of disaster or destruction.
Origin: Middle English knellen, from Old English cnyllan.