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Blech. These are the grossest words.


[peel] /pil/
a loud, prolonged ringing of bells.
a set of bells tuned to one another.
a series of changes rung on a set of bells.
any loud, sustained sound or series of sounds, as of cannon, thunder, applause, or laughter.
verb (used with object)
to sound loudly and sonorously:
to peal the bells of a tower.
Obsolete. to assail with loud sounds.
verb (used without object)
to sound forth in a peal; resound.
Origin of peal
1350-1400; Middle English pele, akin to peal to beat, strike (now dial.)
Related forms
interpeal, verb (used with object)
unpealed, adjective
Can be confused
peal, peel.
4. reverberation, resounding, clangor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pealing
Historical Examples
  • It was not a mirthful laugh, it may be supposed, or harmonious, and it startled her as she heard it pealing into the silence.

    The Marriage of Elinor Margaret Oliphant
  • It was not the shouts of men, nor the detonation of guns, nor the pealing of the thunder.

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • Her pealing laughter made him explain, smiling, 'To any corporation, was what I meant.'

    The Convert Elizabeth Robins
  • Their pealing screams often split the silence of the valley.

    The Yellow Horde Hal G. Evarts
  • At the same time the wild, pealing cry of agony and despair came faintly yet distinctly to horror-stricken ears.

    A Veldt Official Bertram Mitford
  • Trumpets that mustered warriors by thousands were pealing from her walls.

    Sarchedon G. J. (George John) Whyte-Melville
  • The organ was pealing softly and plaintively, and the little gray coat seemed to heave as with a sob.

    A Reputed Changeling Charlotte M. Yonge
  • As he entered the Cathedral the Te Deum was sung to the pealing organ.

    The Thirty Years' War Samuel Rawson Gardiner
  • Mingled with the rolling thunder of each swiftly-speeding car, And with pealing bells proclaiming mighty elephants of war!

    Maha-bharata Anonymous
  • Five minutes passed; and yet no sound but the howling and pealing of the storm.

    The Cock and Anchor Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
British Dictionary definitions for pealing


a loud prolonged usually reverberating sound, as of bells, thunder, or laughter
(bell-ringing) a series of changes rung in accordance with specific rules, consisting of not fewer than 5000 permutations in a ring of eight bells
(not in technical usage) the set of bells in a belfry
(intransitive) to sound with a peal or peals
(transitive) to give forth loudly and sonorously
(transitive) to ring (bells) in peals
Word Origin
C14 pele, variant of apeleappeal


a dialect name for a grilse or a young sea trout
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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Word Origin and History for pealing



mid-14c., "a ringing of a bell" especially as a call to church service, generally considered a shortened form of appeal (n.), with the notion of a bell that "summons" people to church (cf. similar evolution in peach (v.)). Extended sense of "loud ringing of bells" is first recorded 1510s.


1630s, from peal (n.). Related: Pealed; pealing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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