knell

(redirected from knelled)
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Related to knelled: kneeled

toll the death knell

To cause or signal the impending end or ruin of something, especially a business, organization, or activity. Refers to the sound of a bell ringing (the knell) from a church to indicate that someone has died. The geometric expansion of the Internet and digital media has tolled the death knell for countless print-based businesses around the world.
See also: death, knell, toll

sound the death knell for something

to cause something to end Everyone likes e-mail, but it hasn't sounded the death knell for snail mail quite yet.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of sound the death knell (to ring a church bell slowly to announce a person's death)
See also: death, knell, sound

sound/toll the death knell

to cause an organization, system, or activity to fail or end
Usage notes: A knell is the sound of a bell being rung slowly to tell people that someone has died.
(often + for ) The new superstore will sound the death knell for hundreds of small independent shops. (sometimes + of ) The closure of the local car factory tolled the death knell of the town.
See ring hollow
See also: death, knell, sound

death knell

Something that indicates impending failure, as in His low scores sounded the death knell for his ambitions. The noun knell, used for the ringing of a bell since at least a.d. 1000, is rarely heard today except in this figurative phrase.
See also: death, knell