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90s Slang You Should Know

passing bell

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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for passing bell
Historical Examples
  • The passing bell was rung, and he lay expecting Death to come for him.

  • He had dreamt he heard again the passing bell that had tolled for Blaisette.

    Where Deep Seas Moan E. Gallienne-Robin
  • Our passing bell has the same origin, though the reason for it has ceased.

    Chaucer for Children Mrs. H. R. Haweis
  • Formerly, in all parts of Wales, the passing bell was tolled for the dying.

    Welsh Folk-Lore Elias Owen
  • The words came low and distinct to his excited ear, like the tolling of a passing bell.

    A Roman Singer F. Marion Crawford
  • There was also a passing bell, tolled while persons were dying.

  • Whilst the young gallant conducted her in the waltz, and her ear drank in the music of his voice and words, a passing bell tolled.

  • "It is the passing bell," replied the father, with a gloomy brow.

  • Before he had half finished, his meaning struck on her heart, like a passing bell.

    Robin Tremayne Emily Sarah Holt
  • None seem to think of yesterday; None seem to hear the passing bell, That bade the dying year farewell.

British Dictionary definitions for passing bell

passing bell

a bell rung to announce a death or a funeral Also 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
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