- the bell that announces a death.
Origin of death bell
First recorded in 1730–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for death bell
The death-bell came, first indistinct, then loud, upon his ear.Rienzi
Edward Bulwer Lytton
The news fell upon the household like the tolling of a death-bell.
When men he has wronged, and on whom he has bestowed his insolence, are getting ready to be hanged, there is a death-bell ringing.Our Mutual Friend
Every word fell on Butler's ear like the knell of a death-bell, or the note of a screech-owl.The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Volume 2, Illustrated
Sir Walter Scott
Still the death-bell tolled so mournfully that the sunshine seemed to fade in the air.Twice Told Tales