• WordNet 3.6
    • v bell attach a bell to "bell cows"
    • n bell a hollow device made of metal that makes a ringing sound when struck
    • n bell the flared opening of a tubular device
    • n bell a percussion instrument consisting of a set of tuned bells that are struck with a hammer; used as an orchestral instrument
    • n bell a push button at an outer door that gives a ringing or buzzing signal when pushed
    • n bell the sound of a bell being struck "saved by the bell","she heard the distant toll of church bells"
    • n Bell United States inventor (born in Scotland) of the telephone (1847-1922)
    • n Bell English painter; sister of Virginia Woolf; prominent member of the Bloomsbury Group (1879-1961)
    • n Bell a phonetician and father of Alexander Graham Bell (1819-1905)
    • n bell the shape of a bell
    • n bell (nautical) each of the eight half-hour units of nautical time signaled by strokes of a ship's bell; eight bells signals 4:00, 8:00, or 12:00 o'clock, either a.m. or p.m.
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

"The mule pulled the string of the bell." "The mule pulled the string of the bell."
A Swallow's Nest on the Crank of a Bell-wire A Swallow's Nest on the Crank of a Bell-wire
Tongham Church, with Wooden Tower for Bells Tongham Church, with Wooden Tower for Bells
The "Six Bells" Inn, Horley The "Six Bells" Inn, Horley
Kits Coty House and "Blue Bell" From the Painting by Gegan Kits Coty House and "Blue Bell" From the Painting by Gegan

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The name of the Taco Bell dog is Gidget
    • Bell 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.
    • Bell A hollow perforated sphere of metal containing a loose ball which causes it to sound when moved.
    • Bell Anything in the form of a bell, as the cup or corol of a flower. "In a cowslip's bell I lie."
    • Bell (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.
    • Bell (Naut) The strikes of the bell which mark the time; or the time so designated.
    • v. i Bell To call or bellow, as the deer in rutting time; to make a bellowing sound; to roar. "As loud as belleth wind in hell.""The wild buck bells from ferny brake."
    • v. i Bell To develop bells or corollas; to take the form of a bell; to blossom; as, hops bell .
    • Bell To make bell-mouthed; as, to bell a tube.
    • v. t Bell To put a bell upon; as, to bell the cat.
    • v. t Bell To utter by bellowing.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The strike note of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is e-flat
    • n bell A hollow metallic instrument which gives forth a ringing sound, generally of a musical quality, when struck with a clapper, hammer, or other appliance. Its usual shape resembles that of an inverted cup with a flaring rim. If the bell is stationary, it is often made saucer-shaped, and in this case is commonly termed a gong. Bells of this form are generally used as call-bells or signal-bells. Bells are made for many purposes and in a great variety of forms and sizes. They usually consist of an alloy of copper and tin, called bell-metal (which see). Church-bells are known to have been in use in Italy about a. d. 400, and in France in the sixth century. The earlier bells were often four-sided, made of thin plates of iron riveted together. The manufacture of the largest and finest bells has been developed since the fifteenth century. The largest ever made is the great bell of Moscow, called the Czar Kolokol, cast in 1733, and computed to weigh about 440,000 pounds. It is about 19 feet in diameter and the same in height. It is supposed never to have been hung, and is now used as a chapel, having been raised in 1836 after lying half buried since 1737, when a piece was broken out of its side in a fire. The largest bell in actual use weighs 128 tons, and is also in Moscow. The bell of the Buddhist monastery Chi-on, in Kioto, Japan, was cast in 1633, and weighs 125,000 catties, or over 74 tons of 2,240 pounds each. Among the great French bells, the bourdon of Notre Dame, Paris, weighs about 17 tons; the largest bell of Sens cathedral, 16 tons; and that of Amiens cathedral, 11 tons. In England, the “Big Ben” of Westminster weighs over 13 tons, but is cracked; the “Great Peter,” at York, 10 tons; and the “Great Tom,” at Oxford, 7 tons. The new “Kaiser-glocke” of Cologne cathedral weighs 25 tons. For church-bells made to be rung in unison, see chime. In heraldry, the bells generally represented are hawks' bells, in shape like a small sleigh-bell; a hawk represented with these bells attached is said to be belled. When a bell of ordinary form is used as a bearing, it is called church-bell for distinction.
    • n bell Anything in the form of a bell or compared to a bell. Specifically— A bell-shaped corolla of a flower.
    • n bell In architecture, the plain echinus of a Corinthian or composite capital, around which the foliage and volutes are arranged. Also called basket.
    • n bell The large end of a funnel, or the end of a pipe, tube, or any musical instrument, when its edge is turned out and enlarged so as to resemble a bell.
    • n bell The strobile, cone, or catkin containing the seed of the hop.
    • n bell The pendulous dermal appendage under the throat of the male moose.
    • n bell In hydroid polyps, the umbrella or gelatinous disk.
    • n bell plural A number of small bells in the form of hawks' bells or sleigh-bells, fastened to a handle and constituting a toy for amusing an infant.
    • n bell pl. Naut., the term employed on shipboard, as o'clock is on shore, to denote the divisions of daily time, from their being marked by bells, which are struck every half-hour. The day, beginning at midnight, is divided into watches of four hours each, except the watch from 4 to 8 p. m., which is subdivided into two dog-watches. A full watch thus consists of eight half-hours, and its progress is noted by the number of strokes on the bell. For instance, 1 o'clock p. m. is equivalent to two bells in the afternoon watch; 3 o'clock, to six bells; 4 o'clock, to eight bells, etc.
    • n bell in the Roman Catholic Church, a bell which has received the solemn blessing of the church, in which the bishop prays that its sound may avail to summon the faithful, to excite their devotion, to drive away storms, and that the powers of the air, hearing it, may tremble and flee before the standard of the holy cross of the Son of God engraved upon it, etc.
    • n bell In seed, or having the seed-capsules formed, as hops.
    • bell To produce bells; be in bell: said of hops when the seed-vessels are forming. See bell, n., 2 .
    • bell To put a bell on.
    • bell To swell or puff out into the shape of a bell.
    • bell To bellow; roar.
    • bell Specifically To bellow like a deer in rutting-time.
    • bell To bellow forth.
    • n bell The bellow of the wild deer in rutting-time.
    • bell To swell up, like a boil or beal.
    • n bell A bubble formed in a liquid.
    • bell To bubble.
    • bell Fair; beautiful.
    • n bell A bell-shaped rock-mass of somewhat doubtful origin occurring occasionally in sedimentary rocks. The inverted position of of these masses leads to the theory that they were the result of some local disturbance of sedimentation. Some may be due to contemporaneous erosion.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Liberty Bell was the first mechanical slot machine, which was invented by Charles Fey, a car mechanic in 1895.
    • n Bell bel a hollow vessel of metal, which gives forth a ringing sound when struck by the tongue or clapper suspended inside—as in church-bell, hand-bell, alarm-bell, night-bell, marriage-bell, &c.: a corolla shaped like a bell: the body of a Corinthian or composite capital, without the surrounding foliage: anything bell-shaped, as in diving-bell, bell-glass, the bell or outward-turned orifice of a trumpet, &c.: a bell rung to tell the hour:
    • v.t Bell to furnish with a bell, esp. in To bell the cat, to take the leading part in any hazardous movement, from the ancient fable of the mice who proposed to hang a warning bell round the cat's neck
    • n Bell bel a bubble formed in a liquid.
    • v.i Bell bel to bellow, roar: to utter loudly
    • n Bell the cry of a stag at rutting-time
    • n Bell bel (naut.) the bell struck on shipboard every half-hour as many times as there are half-hours of the watch elapsed—'two bells,' 'three bells,' &c., meaning that there are two or three half-hours past; the watch of four hours is eight bells
    • ***


  • Don Marquis
    “Persian pussy from over the sea demure and lazy and smug and fat none of your ribbons and bells for me ours is the zest of the alley cat”
  • Ezra Pound
    “The act of bell ringing is symbolic of all proselytizing religions. It implies the pointless interference with the quiet of other people.”
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins
    Gerard Manley Hopkins
    “Towery city and branching between towers; Cuckoo-echoing, bell-swarmed, lark-charmed, rook-racked, river-rounded.”
  • Henry Ward Beecher
    “When a nation's young men are conservative, its funeral bell is already rung.”
  • William Shakespeare
    “Come, let's have one other gaudy night. Call to me. All my sad captains. Fill our bowls once more. Let's mock the midnight bell.”
  • Erich Segal
    Erich Segal
    “True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked.”


Bell the cat - To bell the cat is to perform a difficult or impossible task.
Bells and whistles - Bells and whistles are attractive features that things like computer programs have, though often a bit unnecessary.
Bells on - (USA) To be somewhere with bells on means to arrive there happy and delighted to attend.
Clear as a bell - If something is as clear as a bell, it is very clear or easy to understand.
Pull the other one, it's got brass bells on - This idiom is way of telling somebody that you don't believe them. The word 'brass' is optional.
Ring a bell - If something rings a bell, it reminds you of something you have heard before, though you may not be able to remember it very well. A name may ring a bell, so you know you have heard the name before, but cannot place it properly.
Saved by the bell - If you are saved by the bell, you are rescued from a danger or a tricky situation just in time.
Sound as a bell - If something or someone is as sound as a bell, they are very healthy or in very good condition.
Who will ring the bell? - 'Who will ring the bell?' asks who will assume the responsibility to help us out of a difficult situation.
You can't unring a bell - This means that once something has been done, you have to live with the consequences as it can't be undone.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. belle, fr. bellan, to bellow. See Bellow
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. belle; cog. with Dut. bel.


In literature:

I did not see this bell when I was in the tower of St. Rombauld, as the light in the bell chamber was very dim.
"Vanished towers and chimes of Flanders" by George Wharton Edwards
Did we introduce you to Belle?
"The Campfire Girls of Roselawn" by Margaret Penrose
"ZigZag Journeys in Northern Lands;" by Hezekiah Butterworth
From the side of the laboratory opposite the Revolving Beryl came a soft tinkling sound, like the striking of a musical bell.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science July 1930" by Various
From that time forth the bell gradually lost its polish, and became dull and finally dark like other bells.
"Japanese Fairy World" by William Elliot Griffis
Doggy, I will nurse you, and try to make you well, And you shall have a collar with a little silver bell.
"Pinafore Palace" by Various
The doctor wanted to get Bell's opinion; but Bell refused to answer.
"The Voyages and Adventures of Captain Hatteras" by Jules Verne
To be sure, Belle refused to ride a horse; but then Belle was a woman and women had whims.
"Rim o' the World" by B. M. Bower
He pressed a lever, which set bells ringing in all parts of the ship.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, August 1930" by Various
In a little church near by the matins and the curfew are still tolled, one of the bells used having belonged to the priory.
"England, Picturesque and Descriptive" by Joel Cook

In poetry:

The bell is pealing,
And every feeling
Within me responds
To the dismal knell;
"Afternoon in February" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Shadows are trailing,
My heart is bewailing
And tolling within
Like a funeral bell.
"Afternoon in February" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Thistledown! Thistledown!
O'er hill and dell
Hither to comfort thee
Comes Lily-Bell.
"Lily-Bell and Thistledown Song II" by Louisa May Alcott
"Thistledown! Thistledown!
O'er hill and dell
Hither to comfort thee
Comes Lily-Bell."
"Lily-Bell" by Louisa May Alcott
She knows not the call
Of church-bells ringing,
The falling rain
Makes sweeter singing.
"The Gypsy Woman" by Ethel Clifford
I do not stir.
The frost makes a flower,
The dew makes a star,
The dead bell,
The dead bell.
"Death & Co." by Sylvia Plath

In news:

Bevin Bell Making Bells Again After Devastating Fire.
Cece Bell, Author, Cece Bell, Illustrator.
Member Diana Bell exhibited a handcrafted Native American deer skin dress that originally belonged to the mother of Bell and Lynda Williams and the grandmother of Katherine Meacham, all members of the Citizen Band Potawatomi tribe.
8 red bell peppers 8 green bell peppers 12 Tbsps.
It was 1943, and an engineer with Bell Telephone was working on one of the US government's most sensitive and important pieces of wartime machinery, a Bell Telephone model 131-B2.
Lehman helped spearhead a change from double-belled euphoniums to a single-belled instrument that produces a richer, more resonant sound.
Blake Bell's 55-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was equal parts offensive line surge, Bell hitting the running lane and turning on the jets.
Graver was born August 2, 1930 in Mooresville, North Carolina to the late Eldon Romaine Bell and Bessie Welch Bell.
BELLE VALLEY Renovation of the old Belle Valley School has earned the village project the status of a Appalachian Community Learning Project role model.
A variety of bell techniques will showcase the wide array of sounds that the bells can produce.
Player Heath Bell baseball hot zone legend for Heath Bell.
On Saturday, July 14, the Oak Ridge International Friendship Bell represented the North American continent in the Apolda World Bell Festival originating in Apolda, Germany.
(Meade) McMeans "Ma Bell", "Babe" "Bell Jean", of Valparaiso and Chesterton, passed away Monday, April 2, 2007 at VNA Horton Hospice Center, Valparaiso.
Runners from all over put on their Santa hats, laced up their shoes with bells, and took off in the first ever jingle bell run for arthritis.
Executive producer Chris Rock, left, is W. Kamau Bell's first guest on "Totally Biased With W Kamau Bell".

In science:

Weihs et al., “Violation of Bell’s inequality under strict Einstein locality conditions,” Phys.
Bell's theorem, entanglement, and common sense
For a general definition of semidirect product see Alperin and Bell (1995) or Simon (1996).
Random walks on wreath products of groups
The characters of induced representations may be calculated by use of the following, which is Corollary 6 in Section 16 of Alperin and Bell (1995).
Random walks on wreath products of groups
That is e(et−1−t) and we recognize that the Dk are so-called generalized Bell numbers [Sloane].
Random incidence matrices: moments of the spectral density
Quantum cryptography based on Bell’s theorem.
A simple unbreakable code