knell

(redirected from knells)
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Related to knells: sepulcher, kneel down, monody

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

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.
See also: death, knell, sound

ring the knell of (something)

old-fashioned To foreshadow, signal, announce, or proclaim the end or ruin of something. Refers to the sound of a bell ringing (the knell) from a church to indicate that someone has died. An uproarious applause strained the very timbers of the chamber, and rang the knell of slavery in this country forever. The geometric expansion of the Internet and digital media has rung the knell of countless print-based businesses around the world.
See also: knell, of, ring

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

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.
See also: death, knell, sound

ring the knell of

announce or herald the end of.
The image here is of the tolling of a bell to announce a death or funeral.
See also: knell, of, ring

sound the ˈdeath knell of something

be 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.
See also: death, knell, of, something, sound
References in classic literature ?
When the spectral procession approached the altar, each couple separated, and slowly diverged, till, in the centre, appeared a form, that had been worthily ushered in with all this gloomy pomp, the death knell, and the funeral.
And therefore I have bidden these funeral friends, and bespoken the sexton's deepest knell, and am come, in my shroud, to wed you, as with a burial service, that we may join our hands at the door of the sepulchre, and enter it together.
And when the awful rite was finished, and with cold hand in cold hand, the Married of Eternity withdrew, the organ's peal of solemn triumph drowned the Wedding Knell.
It was a solemn sound, and not merely for its reference to to- morrow; for he knew that in that chime the murderer's knell was rung.
Yes, and my room-mate," answered Rebecca, who thought her own knell of doom had sounded, if he had forgotten Emma Jane's name.
Charolais to PS1235 for two steers from Messrs Batey, High Knells.
The production is artfully raw and carefully crafted, framing Smith's sweetly resigned, fragile vocals and chords strummed like death knells - elements displayed to the world after his 1998 Academy Award nomination for ``Miss Misery,'' a song used in ``Good Will Hunting.
The Knells, who lived in North Hollywood from 1963 until last year, when they moved to Chatsworth, have nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.