death knell

(redirected from a death knell)

death knell

A signal of 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

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
References in classic literature ?
Its recurrence was regular, but as slow as the tolling of a death knell. He awaited each new stroke with impatience and -- he knew not why -- apprehension.
Instead of focusing on manufacturing, we have turned to trading and real estate business, causing deindustrialisation which is a death knell for any economy.
The Raila-Uhuru deal has thrown NASA into a quagmire with some pundits speculating it could deal a death knell to the coalition that brings together four political parties.
"Talk about killing boxing - it's a death knell for the sport.
So, apparently, is Dan Melchior and His Broke Review, who sound a death knell with their "Garage Obituary." Look for the "Remote Control" 7" on Troubleman Records (and no, it's not a Clash cover) ...
The "GMB union believes that the decision could sound a death knell for many in the manufacturing industry.
For Small businesses, lawsuits can be a death knell. Already strapped for time, money, and resources, entrepreneurs simply can't afford the financial and emotional stress that comes with legal wrangling.
The very name sounds a death knell to many Americans.
"It used to be that going on the pink sheets was a death knell," says Sprague, because there was no place to follow and trade the stock.
They sound a death knell for theories of distant origins for the most potent cosmic rays, says Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Medford, Mass.