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peal

[peel]
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noun
  1. a loud, prolonged ringing of bells.
  2. a set of bells tuned to one another.
  3. a series of changes rung on a set of bells.
  4. any loud, sustained sound or series of sounds, as of cannon, thunder, applause, or laughter.
verb (used with object)
  1. to sound loudly and sonorously: to peal the bells of a tower.
  2. Obsolete. to assail with loud sounds.
verb (used without object)
  1. to sound forth in a peal; resound.

Origin of peal

1350–1400; Middle English pele, akin to peal to beat, strike (now dial.)
Related formsin·ter·peal, verb (used with object)un·pealed, adjective
Can be confusedpeal peel

Synonyms

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4. reverberation, resounding, clangor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pealing

Historical Examples

  • London was merry-making, with bonfires and pealing of bells, when Will Peake and I entered it.

    Sir Ludar

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • It was not the shouts of men, nor the detonation of guns, nor the pealing of the thunder.

  • Their pealing screams often split the silence of the valley.

    The Yellow Horde

    Hal G. Evarts

  • Another flash, another roar, another crash, a pealing of strange thunder.

    Sea-Dogs All!

    Tom Bevan

  • Trumpets that mustered warriors by thousands were pealing from her walls.

    Sarchedon

    G. J. (George John) Whyte-Melville


British Dictionary definitions for pealing

peal1

noun
  1. a loud prolonged usually reverberating sound, as of bells, thunder, or laughter
  2. 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
  3. (not in technical usage) the set of bells in a belfry
verb
  1. (intr) to sound with a peal or peals
  2. (tr) to give forth loudly and sonorously
  3. (tr) to ring (bells) in peals

Word Origin

C14 pele, variant of apele appeal

peal2

noun
  1. 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

Word Origin and History for pealing

peal

n.

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.

peal

v.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper