- a loud, prolonged ringing of bells.
- a set of bells tuned to one another.
- a series of changes rung on a set of bells.
- any loud, sustained sound or series of sounds, as of cannon, thunder, applause, or laughter.
verb (used with object)
- to sound loudly and sonorously: to peal the bells of a tower.
- Obsolete. to assail with loud sounds.
verb (used without object)
- to sound forth in a peal; resound.
- a loud prolonged usually reverberating sound, as of bells, thunder, or laughter
- bell-ringing a series of changes rung in accordance with specific rules, consisting of not fewer than 5000 permutations in a ring of eight bells
- (not in technical usage) the set of bells in a belfry
- (intr) to sound with a peal or peals
- (tr) to give forth loudly and sonorously
- (tr) to ring (bells) in peals
- a dialect name for a grilse or a young sea trout
n.mid-14c., “a ringing of a bell” especially as a call to church service, generally considered a shortened form of appeal (n.), with the notion of a bell that “summons” people to church (cf. similar evolution in peach (v.)). Extended sense of “loud ringing of bells” is first recorded 1510s. v.1630s, from peal (n.). Related: Pealed; pealing.