tocsin

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French toquesain (modern tocsin), from Provençal tocasenh, from tocar ‘strike, touch’ + senh ‘bell’.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

tocsin (plural tocsins)

  1. An alarm or other signal sounded by a bell or bells, especially with reference to France.
    • 1804, The Times, 23 Aug 1804, p.3 col. C
      At half-past one, on the sounding of the tocsin (or bell of the public-house) about fifteen persons were collected, when the Rev. J. Bromley was called to the chair.
    • 1970, JG Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition:
      As she entered the projection theatre the soundtrack reverberated across the sculpture garden, a melancholy tocsin modulated by Talbert’s less and less coherent commentary.
    • 1992, Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety, Harper Perennial 2007, p. 281:
      I'll ring the tocsin, I'll have Saint-Antoine out. I can put twenty thousand armed men on the streets, just like that.
  2. A bell used to sound an alarm.

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French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French toquesain, from Provençal tocasenh, from tocar ‘strike, touch’ + senh ‘bell’.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

tocsin m (plural tocsins)

  1. an alarm, a tocsin

Anagrams[edit]

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