- A hollow metallic vessel, usually shaped somewhat like a cup with a flaring mouth, containing a clapper or tongue, and giving forth a ringing sound on being struck.
- A hollow perforated sphere of metal containing a loose ball which causes it to sound when moved.
- Anything in the form of a bell, as the cup or corol of a flower."In a cowslip's bellI lie." [Shak.]
- [Arch] That part of the capital of a column included between the abacus and neck molding; also used for the naked core of nearly cylindrical shape, assumed to exist within the leafage of a capital.
- pl.[Naut] The strikes of the bell which mark the time; or the time so designated.
Note: ☞ Bells have been made of various metals, but the best have always been, as now, of an alloy of copper and tin.
Note: ☞ On shipboard, time is marked by a bell, which is struck eight times at 4, 8, and 12 o'clock. Half an hour after it has struck “eight bells” it is struck once, and at every succeeding half hour the number of strokes is increased by one, till at the end of the four hours, which constitute a watch, it is struck eight times.
Note: ☞ Bell is much used adjectively or in combinations; as, bell clapper; bell foundry; bell hanger; bell-mouthed; bell tower, etc., which, for the most part, are self-explaining.
Etymology: AS. belle, fr. bellan to bellow. See Bellow