Meaning of BELL in English

I. ˈbel noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English belle, from Old English;akin to Middle Low German belle bell, Old Norse bjalla bell, Old English bellan to roar — more at bellow


a. : a cup-shaped, saucer-shaped, or hollow spherical metallic device that vibrates and gives forth a ringing sound when struck by a clapper or hammer or by a loose ball inside — see chime , gong , sleigh bell

b. : doorbell

the bell began to chime more frequently — A.R.Foff

2. : the ringing or sound of a bell as a signal

school bell

or summons

dinner bell

or warning

fire bell


a. : a bell (as of a clock) rung to tell the hour

b. : the stroke of such a bell especially on shipboard — often used in plural

c. : the time so indicated

d. nautical : a half hour — compare watch (see column 3)

e. : a signal to a ship's engine room given originally by striking a bell

f. : the gong sounded at the beginning and end of a round in boxing

4. : a mark of superiority or merit : award , prize — used in such phrases as to bear the bell, to carry away the bell

5. : something having the form of a bell: as

a. : the cup or corolla of a flower

in a cowslip's bell I lie — Shakespeare

b. : a hollow inverted vessel (as a diving bell or bell jar)

c. : a bell-shaped organ or part (as the umbrella of a jellyfish or the nectocalyx of a siphonophore)

d. : a small pouch of hairy skin that hangs from the neck of a deer

e. : the part of the capital of a column between the abacus and neck molding ; especially : the nearly bell-shaped naked core assumed to exist within the leafage of a Corinthian capital

f. : a flaring mouth (as of a trumpet or other musical wind instrument or of an old firearm)

g. : a bell-shaped cover of metal or glass placed over food in cooking or serving — called also cloche

h. : the cone-shaped part in a bell and hopper

i. : the enlarged end of a section of pipe that receives the spigot end of the adjoining section

j. : the cup-shaped endpiece of a stethoscope that is placed against a body area (as the chest)


a. : a musical percussion instrument consisting of a number of metal bars or tubes of various graded lengths that when struck with a hammer give out tones resembling those of different-sized bells — usually used in plural; called also chimes

b. : glockenspiel

7. bells plural : heel clicks performed in the air in tap dancing

- with bells on


II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

1. : to put a bell upon : provide with a bell

camels had got away from them in the dark and … were not belled — Myrtle R. White


a. : to ring a bell for

bell the man to come up

b. : to cause to ring

the ground, so hard it hurt our brittle feet, belled the iron rakes — Whitney Balliett

3. : to make bell-mouthed

bell out the end of a tube

4. : to cover by a bell or bell jar

artificial fruit … the stuff your grandmother belled under glass — Walter de la Mare

intransitive verb

1. : to ring a bell or bells

trams bell against motors and drays — William Sansom

2. : to make a sound suggestive of a bell

a great belling chorus of thrushes — H.E.Bates

: ring

his head belling with interrupted sleep — D.C.Peattie


a. : to take the form of a bell : swell up or puff out into the shape of a bell

belling sleeves

belled flowers

skirts inclined to bell at the hemline — Women's Wear Daily

b. : to develop bells or corollas : blossom

hops belling at the end of August

- bell the cat

III. intransitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English bellen, from Old English bellan — more at bellow

: to make a resonant bellowing or baying sound

the bobcat … was ahead of the belling hounds — William Faulkner

: bellow , roar

the distant belling of the herds of deer — Sacheverell Sitwell

IV. noun

( -s )

: the noise of one that bells : bellow , roar

the bell of a stag

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.