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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.

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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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. 2021

Example sentences 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
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