knell(redirected from knells)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
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.
sound 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 expansion of the Internet and digital media has sounded the death knell for countless print-based businesses around the world.
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.
sound the death knell
COMMON If something sounds the death knell for an activity or organization, it causes the activity or organization to end or fail. The announcement that the mine would close in March with the loss of more than 980 jobs sounded the death knell for the village. Some people fear that the decision to allow women to become priests sounds the death knell of the Church of England. Note: This expression has many variations. For example, you can use other verbs instead of sound, or simply use the death knell to describe something that causes something else to end or fail. The present system of industrialization marked the death knell of traditional art. A new supermarket in the area would be the death knell for many small, independent food shops. Note: A death knell is the ringing of a church bell at a funeral or to announce someone's death.
ring the knell ofannounce or herald the end of.
The image here is of the tolling of a bell to announce a death or funeral.
sound the ˈdeath knell of somethingbe the reason why something ends, goes out of fashion, or is replaced: The arrival of large supermarkets sounded the death knell of many small local shops.
The death knell is the ringing of a bell to announce a person’s death.