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1. Literally, a bell that is rung in acknowledgment of one's death ("passing") or funeral. Someone must have died—listen, they're ringing the passing bell.
2. By extension, something that marks the end of something else. It's hard to not feel like the return of my depression is a passing bell to all the progress I had made up to now.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.