bell: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (bel), [key]
— n.
  1. a hollow instrument of cast metal, typically cup-shaped with a flaring mouth, suspended from the vertex and rung by the strokes of a clapper, hammer, or the like.
  2. the stroke or sound of such an instrument: We rose at the bell.
  3. anything in the form of a bell.
  4. the large end of a funnel, or the end of a pipe, tube, or any musical wind instrument, when its edge is turned out and enlarged.
  5. the underlying part of a foliated capital.
  6. It is now four bells.
    1. any of the half-hour units of nautical time rung on the bell of a ship.
    2. each individual ring of the bell, counted with others to reckon the time:It is now four bells.
    3. a signal on the telegraph of a large power vessel, made between the navigating officers and the engineer.
  7. umbrella (def. 2).
  8. the bell-shaped corolla of a flower.
  9. a conical lid that seals the top of a blast furnace and lowers to admit a charge.
  10. to evoke a memory, esp. a vague or partial recollection; remind one of something: His name rings a bell but I can't remember him.
  11. to provide what is desired; be satisfactory or successful: This new book rings the bell with teenagers.
    1. (of a boxer) saved from a knockout by the ringing of a gong signaling the end of a round.
    2. (of any person) spared from anticipated trouble by some extraneous event.
  12. eagerly; ready to enjoy oneself: Just say when, and we'll be there with bells on.
  1. to cause to swell or expand like a bell (often fol. by out): Belling out the tubes will permit a freer passage of air.
  2. to put a bell on.
  1. to take or have the form of a bell.
  2. to produce bells; be in bell (said of hops when the seed vessels are forming).
  3. See (def. 15).


Pronunciation: (bel), [key]
— v.i., v.t.
  1. to bellow like a stag in rutting time.
  2. to bay, as a hunting dog.
  1. the cry of a rutting stag or hunting dog.


Pronunciation: (bel), [key]
— n.
  1. pen name of Anne Brontë.
  2. 1847–1922, U.S. scientist, born in Scotland: inventor of the telephone.
  3. 1881–1964, English critic of literature and art.
  4. pen name of Charlotte Brontë.
  5. pen name of Emily Brontë.
  6. 1797–1869, U.S. political leader: Speaker of the House 1834–35.
  7. a city in SW California, near Los Angeles. 25,450.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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