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See more synonyms for Bell on Thesaurus.com
  1. Ac·ton [ak-tuh n] /ˈæk tən/, pen name of Anne Brontë.
  2. Alexander Graham,1847–1922, U.S. scientist, born in Scotland: inventor of the telephone.
  3. (Arthur) Clive (Howard),1881–1964, English critic of literature and art.
  4. Cur·rer [kur-er] /ˈkɜr ər/, pen name of Charlotte Brontë.
  5. Ellis, pen name of Emily Brontë.
  6. James ThomasCool Papa, 1903–91, U.S. baseball player, a Negro Leagues outfielder noted for his speed.
  7. John,1797–1869, U.S. political leader: Speaker of the House 1834–35.
  8. a city in SW California, near Los Angeles.
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  1. AnneActon Bell, 1820–49, English novelist.
  2. her sisterCharlotteCurrer Bell, 1816–55, English novelist.
  3. her sisterEmily JaneEllis Bell, 1818–48, English novelist.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for currer bell


  1. a hollow, usually metal, cup-shaped instrument that emits a musical ringing sound when struck, often by a clapper hanging inside it
  2. the sound made by such an instrument or device, as for showing the hours or marking the beginning or end of a period of time
  3. an electrical device that rings or buzzes as a signal
  4. the bowl-shaped termination of the tube of certain musical wind instruments, such as the trumpet or oboe
  5. any musical percussion instrument emitting a ringing tone, such as a glockenspiel, one of a set of hand bells, etcCompare chime 1 (def. 3)
  6. nautical a signal rung on a ship's bell to count the number of half-hour intervals during each of six four-hour watches reckoned from midnight. Thus, one bell may signify 12.30, 4.30, or 8.30 a.m. or p.m
  7. See diving bell
  8. biology a structure resembling a bell in shape, such as the corolla of certain flowers or the body of a jellyfish
  9. British slang a telephone call (esp in the phrase give someone a bell)
  10. beat seven bells out of or knock seven bells out of British informal to give a severe beating to
  11. bell, book, and candle
    1. instruments used formerly in excommunications and other ecclesiastical acts
    2. informalthe solemn ritual ratification of such acts
  12. ring a bell to sound familiar; recall to the mind something previously experienced, esp indistinctly
  13. sound as a bell in perfect condition
  14. the bells the ringing of bells, in a church or other public building, at midnight on December 31st, symbolizing the beginning of a new year
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  1. to be or cause to be shaped like a bell
  2. (tr) to attach a bell or bells to
  3. bell the cat to undertake a dangerous mission
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Word Origin

Old English belle; related to Old Norse bjalla, Middle Low German bell; see bell ²


  1. a bellowing or baying cry, esp that of a hound or a male deer in rut
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  1. to utter (such a cry)
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Word Origin

Old English bellan; related to Old Norse belja to bellow, Old High German bellan to roar, Sanskrit bhāsate he talks; see bellow


  1. Acton, Currer (ˈkʌrə), and Ellis . pen names of the sisters Anne, Charlotte, and Emily BrontëSee Brontë
  2. Alexander Graham . 1847–1922, US scientist, born in Scotland, who invented the telephone (1876)
  3. Sir Francis Henry Dillon . 1851–1936, New Zealand statesman; prime minister of New Zealand (1925)
  4. Gertrude (Margaret Lowthian). 1868–1926, British traveller, writer, and diplomat; secretary to the British High Commissioner in Baghdad (1917–26)
  5. Joshua. born 1967, US violinist
  6. Dame (Susan) Jocelyn, married name Jocelyn Burnell, born 1943, British radio astronomer, who discovered the first pulsar
  7. Vanessa, original name Vanessa Stephen . 1879–1961, British painter; a member of the Bloomsbury group, sister of Virginia Woolf and wife of the art critic Clive Bell (1881–1964)
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  1. Anne, pen name Acton Bell . 1820–49, English novelist; author of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1847)
  2. her sister, Charlotte, pen name Currer Bell . 1816–55, English novelist, author of Jane Eyre (1847), Villette (1853), and The Professor (1857)
  3. her sister, Emily (Jane), pen name Ellis Bell . 1818–48, English novelist and poet; author of Wuthering Heights (1847)
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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 currer bell



"attach a bell," late 14c., from bell (n.). Related: Belled; belling. Allusions to the story of the mice that bell the cat (so they can hear him coming) date to 1520s.

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Old English belle, common North Sea Germanic (cf. Middle Dutch belle, Middle Low German belle) but not found elsewhere in Germanic (except as a borrowing), from PIE root *bhel- (4) "to sound, roar." Statistical bell curve was coined 1870s in French. Of glasses in the shape of a bell from 1640s. Bell pepper is from 1707, so called for its shape. Bell, book, and candle is a reference to a form of excommunication. To ring a bell "awaken a memory" (1934) is perhaps a reference to Pavlovian experiments.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

currer bell in Medicine


(bĕl)Sir Charles 1774-1842
  1. British anatomist and surgeon who published detailed anatomies of the nervous system and the brain. He was the first to distinguish between sensory and motor nerves. Bell's Law and Bell's palsy are named for him.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

currer bell in Science


  1. Scottish-born American scientist and inventor whose lifelong interest in the education of deaf people led him to conceive the idea of transmitting speech by electric waves. In 1876 his experiments with a telegraph resulted in his invention of the telephone. He later produced the first successful sound recorder, an early hearing aid, and many other devices.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with currer bell


In addition to the idiom beginning with bell

  • bell the cat, who will

also see:

  • clear as a bell
  • ring a bell
  • saved by the bell
  • sound as a bell
  • with bells on
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.