passing bell

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

passing bell (plural passing bells)

  1. (music) A bell rung to announce a passing, a death, or funeral; death bell, death knell.
    • 1917, Wilfred Owen, Anthem for Doomed Youth
      What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
        — Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
        Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
      Can patter out their hasty orisons.