- 1 a hollow metal object, often shaped like a cup, that makes a ringing sound when hit by a small piece of metal inside it; the sound that it makes A peal of church bells rang out in the distance. a bicycle bell His voice came down the line as clear as a bell. the bell of a trumpet (= the bell-shaped part at the end of it) a bell tower a bell-shaped flower wedding bells The dancers wore bells on their ankles.
- 2 an electrical device which makes a ringing sound when a button on it is pushed; the sound that it makes, used as a signal or a warning Ring the bell to see if they're in. The bell's ringing! The bell rang at the end of the class. An alarm bell went off. (figurative) Warning bells started ringing in her head as she sensed that something was wrong. Idioms
nounjump to other results
if you say that alarm bells are ringing or that something sets off alarm bells, you mean that people are starting to feel worried and suspicious The government's proposal has set alarm bells ringing for people on low incomes.
alarm bells ring/start ringing, (something) sets off alarm bellsjump to other results
to be hit very hard on the head Gonzales had his bell rung in the third round of the fight.
have/get your bell rung (slang)jump to other results
to sound familiar to you, as though you have heard it before His name rings a bell but I can't think where we met.
ring a bell (informal)jump to other results
in perfect condition The doctor said I was as sound as a bell.
(as) sound as a bell (informal)jump to other results
eager and full of enthusiasm about something Just tell me where the party is and I’ll be there with bells on.
with bells on (informal)jump to other results