The definition of a knell is a low and solemn ringing tone, or a bad omen.noun
- 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.verb
An example of knell is to ring a bell when a national figure dies.YourDictionary definition and usage example. Copyright © 2013 by LoveToKnow Corp.
- to ring in a slow, solemn way; toll
- to sound ominously or mournfully
Origin: ME knyllen & (with echoic vowel change) knellen < OE cnyllan, akin to MHG (er)knellen: prob. echoic
- the sound of a bell, esp. of a bell rung slowly, as at a funeral
- an omen of death, failure, etc.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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.