- a bell tolled to announce a death or funeral.
- a portent or sign of the passing away of anything.
Origin of passing bell
First recorded in 1520–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for passing bell
It is too good for a passing-bell, and you too good to toll it.Aslauga's Knight
Fredrich de la Motte-Fouque
The sentence itself fell on my ear like the note of a passing-bell.Glimpses of Three Coasts
Helen Hunt Jackson
I wish we could find out if the passing-bell was tolling for her.Girls of the True Blue
L. T. Meade
Well, at last he rung the bell: O, thought I, that it was my passing-bell!Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded
Suddenly the chimes of a neighboring church ring the passing-bell.The Iron Pincers
- a bell rung to announce a death or a funeralAlso called: death bell, death knell
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