save (one) by the bell

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save (one) by the bell

To save or spare someone from difficulty or misfortune by some intervention at the very last moment. An allusion to the bell that ends the round in a boxing match saving a boxer from being counted out. Just when he was about to start yelling at me, the fire alarm went off and saved me by the bell.
See also: bell, by, save

saved by the bell

Saved or spared from difficulty or misfortune by some intervention at the very last moment. An allusion to the bell that ends the round in a boxing match saving a boxer from being counted out. The teacher was just getting ready to hand out the quizzes when the fire alarm went off—saved by the bell!
See also: bell, by, save
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

saved by the bell

Cliché saved by the timely intervention of someone or something. (Alludes to a boxer who is saved from being counted out by the bell that ends a round.) I was going to have to do my part, but someone knocked on the door and I didn't have to do it. I was saved by the bell. I wish I had been saved by the bell.
See also: bell, by, save
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

saved by the bell

Rescued from a difficulty at the last moment, as in I couldn't put off explaining his absence any longer, but then Bill arrived and I was saved by the bell . This expression alludes to the bell rung at the end of a boxing round, which, if it rings before a knocked-down boxer has been counted out, lets him get up and continue fighting in the next round. Its figurative use dates from the mid-1900s.
See also: bell, by, save
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

saved by the bell

You say saved by the bell when you are in a difficult situation and at the last moment, something happens which allows you to escape from it. There was another period of silence. It was broken by the sound of Eleanor's car pulling up outside the front door. `Saved by the bell,' I said. Note: This expression refers to the bell which signals the end of a round in a boxing match.
See also: bell, by, save
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

saved by the bell

preserved from danger narrowly or by an unexpected intervention.
In boxing matches a contestant who has been knocked to the floor can be saved from being counted out by the ringing of the bell to mark the end of a round.
See also: bell, by, save
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ˌsaved by the ˈbell

saved from a difficult, embarrassing, etc. situation at the last moment: Saved by the bell! He was just asking me why my report was two weeks late when you came in.
This expression refers to the bell that marks the end of a round in a boxing match.
See also: bell, by, save
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

saved by the bell

mod. saved by the timely intervention of someone or something. I was going to have to do my part, but someone knocked on the door and I didn’t have to do it. I was saved by the bell.
See also: bell, by, save
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

saved by the bell

A last-minute reprieve. The bell referred to is the one rung at the end of a round of boxing, and it “saves” the boxer who has been knocked down if it rings before he has been counted “out.” Transferring the term to other kinds of fortunate intervention dates from the mid-twentieth century. “‘Then I don’t know it,’ I told him, saved by the bell,” wrote Alan Sillitoe (The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner, 1959).
See also: bell, by, save
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer