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tocsin

[ tok-sin ]
/ ˈtɒk sɪn /
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noun

a signal, especially of alarm, sounded on a bell or bells.
a bell used to sound an alarm.

RELATED WORDS

siren, bell, signal, warning, alert, sign, horn

Nearby words

tocometer, tocopherol, tocopilla, tocqueville, tocqueville, alexis de, tocsin, tod, today, todd, todd's paralysis, toddle

Origin of tocsin

1580–90; < Middle French < Provençal tocasenh literally, (it) strikes (the) bell, equivalent to toca, 3rd singular present of tocar to strike, touch + senh bell, sign
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tocsin

British Dictionary definitions for tocsin

tocsin

/ (ˈtɒksɪn) /

noun

an alarm or warning signal, esp one sounded on a bell
an alarm bell

Word Origin for tocsin

C16: from French, from Old French toquassen, from Old Provençal tocasenh, from tocar to touch + senh bell, from Latin signum
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 tocsin

tocsin


n.

"alarm bell," 1580s, from Middle French toquassen "an alarm bell, the ringing of an alarm bell" (late 14c.), from Old Provençal tocasenh, from tocar "to strike" (from Vulgar Latin *toccare "strike a bell;" see touch) + senh "bell, bell note," from Late Latin signum "bell, ringing of a bell," in Latin "mark, signal." The current English spelling is from 1794, adopted from modern French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper