See also: death-knell
- The tolling of a bell announcing death.
1873, Thomas Hardy, chapter 25, in A Pair of Blue Eyes:
- The sound was the stroke of a bell from the tower of East Endelstow Church. . . . The death-knell of an inhabitant of the eastern parish was being tolled.
1890, Ambrose Bierce, chapter 1, in An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge:
- Its recurrence was regular, but as slow as the tolling of a death-knell.
- (idiomatic, by extension) A sign or omen foretelling the death or destruction of something.
tolling of a bell announcing death