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bell (n.)

"hollow metallic instrument which rings when struck," Old English belle, which has cognates in Middle Dutch belle, Middle Low German belle but is not found elsewhere in Germanic (except as a borrowing); apparently from PIE root *bhel- (4) "to sound, roar" (compare Old English bellan "to roar," and see bellow).

As a division of daily time aboard a ship, by 1804, from its being marked by bells struck every half hour. Statistical bell curve is by 1920, said to have been coined was coined 1870s in French. Of glasses in the shape of a bell from 1640s. Bell pepper is from 1707, so called for its shape. Bell, book, and candle is a reference to a form of excommunication (the bells were rung out of order and all together to signify the loss of grace and order in the soul of the excommunicated).

To ring a bell "awaken a memory" (1934) is perhaps a reference to Pavlovian experiments; it also was a signal to summon a servant (1782).

bell (v.)

"attach a bell to," late 14c., from bell (n.). Related: Belled; belling. Allusions to the story of the mice that undertook to bell the cat (so they can hear him coming) date to late 14c.

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Definitions of bell from WordNet
1
bell (n.)
a hollow device made of metal that makes a ringing sound when struck;
bell (n.)
a push button at an outer door that gives a ringing or buzzing signal when pushed;
Synonyms: doorbell / buzzer
bell (n.)
the sound of a bell being struck;
she heard the distant toll of church bells
saved by the bell
Synonyms: toll
bell (n.)
(nautical) each of the eight half-hour units of nautical time signaled by strokes of a ship's bell; eight bells signals 4:00, 8:00, or 12:00 o'clock, either a.m. or p.m.;
Synonyms: ship's bell
bell (n.)
the shape of a bell;
Synonyms: bell shape / campana
bell (n.)
a percussion instrument consisting of a set of tuned bells that are struck with a hammer; used as an orchestral instrument;
Synonyms: chime / gong
bell (n.)
the flared opening of a tubular device;
2
bell (v.)
attach a bell to;
bell cows
3
Bell (n.)
a phonetician and father of Alexander Graham Bell (1819-1905);
Synonyms: Melville Bell / Alexander Melville Bell
Bell (n.)
English painter; sister of Virginia Woolf; prominent member of the Bloomsbury Group (1879-1961);
Synonyms: Vanessa Bell / Vanessa Stephen
Bell (n.)
United States inventor (born in Scotland) of the telephone (1847-1922);
Synonyms: Alexander Bell / Alexander Graham Bell
From wordnet.princeton.edu