passing bell

  1. a bell tolled to announce a death or funeral.

  2. a portent or sign of the passing away of anything.

Origin of passing bell

First recorded in 1520–30

Words Nearby passing bell Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use passing bell in a sentence

  • 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.

  • The passing bell gave Henry a momentary sense of equality; and he courageously stepped forward to the first winding of the avenue.

    Nature and Art | Mrs. Inchbald
  • Anon the door itself closed to with a dull bang which seemed to find an echo in her heart like the tolling of a passing bell.

  • The passing bell continued to ring out minute by minute, and presently there was the sound of singing.

    The Christian | Hall Caine
  • She also tells of the constant sound of the passing bell; of the frequent burials in the thronged churchyard.

    Emily Bront | A. Mary F. (Agnes Mary Frances) Robinson

British Dictionary definitions for passing bell

passing bell

  1. 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