Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
ring (one's) bell
1. To strike someone with a violent blow to the head, especially as might stun or concuss. I would have rung that guy's bell if I knew he had been trash-talking you. Sarah's likely to ring your bell if you keep harassing her like that.
2. To be enjoyable, preferable, or satisfactory to someone; to be or provide something that someone wants. A: "How's that new book you're reading?" B: "Eh, it isn't really ringing my bell, to be honest." I'd rather go see the action movie, if that's all right. Dramas just don't ring my bell.
3. To sexually attract or arouse someone; to bring someone sexual gratification or satisfaction. That redhead from across the bar has been ringing my bell all night. He looks mighty fine, all right. I'd like to take him home and ring his bell!
To sound or give the sense of being false, insincere, or not genuine. The statements that followed made her apology ring hollow. The dialogue in the film rings hollow—no one talks like that in real life.
ring the changes
To continually alter or change something. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I'm not surprised that Tina showed up with purple hair today—she loves ringing the changes with her hair color.
ring in (one's) ears
To still be vividly present in one's mind or memory, as if one can still here it. Usually said of something very loud or significant that one heard. The sound of the gunfire was still ringing in my ears the next morning. The horrible things she said to me have been ringing in my ears ever since.
ring out the old and ring in the new
1. To celebrate the end of a year and usher in the start of a new one. It's that time of year again, when companies around the city start ringing out the old and ringing in the new with raucous office parties.
2. To mark transition between two stages or phases, as one ends and another begins. The revolutionary war, which rang out the old and rang in the new for the fledgling country, also had the unintended side effect of producing tens of thousands of refugees no longer welcome in the country due to their wartime allegiance.
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.
ring the changes
Keep varying how one performs an action or says something, as in She went on and on, ringing the changes on the joy of computers. This expression alludes to the art of change-ringing, where a series of church bells are rung in as many sequences, or changes, as possible. [Early 1600s]
ring the changesBRITISH
COMMON If you ring the changes, you make changes to the way something is organized or done in order to make it different or to improve it. I like to ring the changes with dark curtains in the winter, and light Indian ones in the summer. Choose a classic trouser suit that you can wear all year round, and ring the changes each season with blouses, scarves and jewellery. Note: In bell-ringing, to `ring the changes' means to ring a number of church bells, each of which gives a different note, one after the other in every possible combination.
COMMON If a statement or promise rings hollow or sounds hollow, it does not seem true or sincere. Now the promise of a long, secure career rings hollow, employers must find new ways to attract staff. Official claims that the two countries are close friends sound increasingly hollow. Note: You can also say that a statement or promise has a hollow ring. The Government's claim to be making record investments in railways has a very hollow ring. Compare with ring true. Note: The idea is of an object that is meant to be solid making a loud noise when struck, indicating that it is weaker or cheaper than it was believed to be.
ring the changesvary the ways of expressing, arranging, or doing something.
In bell-ringing, the changes are the different sequences in which a peal of bells may be rung.