- to ring in a slow, solemn way; toll
- to sound ominously or mournfully
Origin of knellMiddle English knyllen and (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.