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90s Slang You Should Know

death knell

a harbinger of the end, death, or destruction of something. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for death knell
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A heavy blow fell like a death knell on the future hopes of the colonists.

    Lady Rosamond's Secret Rebecca Agatha Armour
  • The failure to grasp this fact is the death knell of orthodox religion.

    The Mistakes of Jesus William Floyd
  • The one word the Professor's Wife spoke was like a death knell.

    What's He Doing in There? Fritz Reuter Leiber
  • He watched the clock now as a man who waits for the death knell.

    The Forged Note Oscar Micheaux
  • Let the highest types of our young manhood avoid this sin and its death knell is sounded.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
British Dictionary definitions for death knell

death knell

something that heralds death or destruction
a bell rung to announce a death
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with death knell

death knell

Something that indicates impending failure, as in His low scores sounded the death knell for his ambitions. The noun knell, used for the ringing of a bell since at least a.d. 1000, is rarely heard today except in this figurative phrase.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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