Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

For Whom the Bell Tolls

See more synonyms for For Whom the Bell Tolls on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a novel (1940) by Ernest Hemingway.
Show More
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

for whom the bell tolls in Culture

for whom the bell tolls

An expression from a sermon by John Donne. Donne says that because we are all part of mankind, any person's death is a loss to all of us: “Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” The line also suggests that we all will die: the bell will toll for each one of us. (See No man is an island.)

Show More

Note

The twentieth-century American author Ernest Hemingway named a novel For Whom the Bell Tolls; the book is set during the Spanish Civil War.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.