bell [-s] n

OE, possibly 'roar, loud noise'.

  1. Carillon; belfry; community signal; cup-shaped chiming implement hanging in the bell tower of a church; clock instrument used to send public messages and mark time.
  2. Ringing instrument; signal of victory.
  3. Sonorant vessel; hollow body; resonating instrument; cast metal casing that emits a clear musical sound, by the sonorous vibration of its entire circumference; inverted deep cup with a recurving brim, which is struck by a clapper suspended from the center of the interior.
  4. Reverberation; sound waves; geometric curve; heavenly orbit; [fig.] prayer; communion; communication with Deity.
  5. Clock; time-keeper; object rung to announce the hours.
  6. Signal system; [fig.] rejoicing; sound of people rising in the resurrection.
  7. Joy; sounding of good news.
  8. Noise-maker; loud signal; [Webster] “those who went the nightly rounds in camps or garrisons, used to ring a bell, at each sentinel box, to see that the soldier on duty was awake.”
  9. Knell; funeral signal.
  10. Tinkling ornament; (see Zechariah 14:20; see also Webster 1844: “The blue tunic of the Jewish high-priest was adorned with golden bells; and the kings of Persia … adorned with them in like manner”).
  11. Military signal.
  12. Alarm; signal of danger; [Webster: “Bells were also put on the necks of criminals, to warn persons to move out of the way.”]
  13. Door ringer; entry signal.
  14. Church signal.
  15. Cup-shaped bloom; corolla of a blossom; calyx of a flower.
  16. Declaration; proclamation; [word play on “belle”] debutante; lovely maiden; pretty one.
  17. Time period; range of time.
  18. Phrase. “Currer Bell”: (see Bell, Currer, proper n.)