For Whom the Bell Tolls noun
- a novel (1940) by Ernest Hemingway.
for whom the bell tolls in Culture for whom the bell tolls
An expression from a sermon by John Donne. Donne says that because we are all part of mankind, any person’s death is a loss to all of us: “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” The line also suggests that we all will die: the bell will toll for each one of us. (See No man is an island.)