Dictionary: BELL – BEL'LOW

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BELL, n. [Sax. bell, bella, belle, so named from its sound; Sax. bellan, to bawl or bellow; W. ballaw; G. bellen; D. id.; coinciding with βαλλω and pello. See Peal.]

  1. A vessel or hollow body, used for making sounds. Its constituent parts are a barrel or hollow body, enlarged or expanded at one end, an ear or cannon by which it is hung to a beam, and a clapper on the inside. It is formed of a composition of metals. Bells are of high antiquity. The blue tunic of the Jewish high-priest was adorned with golden bells; and the kings of Persia are said to have the hem of their robe adorned with them in like manner. Among the Greeks, those who went the nightly rounds in camps or garrisons, used to ring a bell, at each sentinel-box, to see that the soldier on duty was awake. Bells were also put on the necks of criminals, to warn persons to move out of the way of so ill an omen, as the sight of a criminal or his executioner; also on the necks of beasts and birds and in houses. In churches and other public buildings, bells are now used to notify the time of meeting of any congregation or other assembly. – Encyc. In private houses, bells are used to call servants, either hung and moved by a wire, or as hand-bells. Small bells are also used in electrical experiments.
  2. A hollow body of metal, perforated, and containing a solid ball, to give sounds when shaken; used on animals, as on horses or hawks.
  3. Any thing in form of a bell, as the cup or calyx of a flower. To bear the bell, is to be the first or leader, in allusion to the bell-wether of a flock, or the leading horse of a team or drove, that wears bells on his collar. To shake the bells, a phrase of Shakspeare, signifies to move, give notice or alarm.

BELL, v.i.

To grow in the form of bells, as buds or flowers.


A plant, a species of Atropa, or deadly nightshade. – Lee.

BEL'LA-TRIX, n. [L.]

A ruddy, glittering star of the second magnitude, in the left shoulder of Orion; so named from its imagined influence in exciting war. – Encyc.

BELLE, n. [bel; Fr. from L. bellus, It. bello, Sp. bello, handsome, fine, whence to embellish; allied perhaps to Russ. bielo, white.]

A young lady. In popular use, a lady of superior beauty and much admired.


Hung with bells.

BELLES'-LET-TRES, n. [plur. bel'letter, or anglicised, bell-letters; Fr. See Belle and Letter.]

Polite literature; a word of very vague signification, It includes poetry and oratory; but authors are not agreed to what particular branches of learning the term should be restricted. – Encyc.


Having the form of a bell. – Mortimer.

BELL'FLOW-ER, n. [bell and flower.]

A genus of plants so named from the shape of the coral or flower which resembles a bell, L. Campanula, a genus of Monogynian Pentanders, comprehending many species.

BELL'FOUND-ER, n. [bell and founder.]

A man whose occupation is to found or cast bells.

BELL'I-BONE, n. [Fr. belle and bonne.]

A woman excelling both in beauty and goodness. [Not in use.] Spenser.

BEL'LI-ED, pp.

In composition, swelled or prominent, like the belly.

BEL-LIG'ER-ENT, a. [L. belliger, warlike; belligero, to wage war; from bellum, war, and gero, to wage; part. gerens, gerentis, waging. Gr. πολεμος, war; W. bel, war, tumult; bela, to war, to wrangle.]

Waging war; carrying on war; as, a belligerent nation.


A nation, power, or state, carrying on war.


The same as Belligerent. [Not used.]

BELL'ING, n. [Sax. bellan, to bellow.]

  1. The noise of a roe in rutting time; a huntsman's term. – Dict.
  2. adj. Growing or forming like a bell; growing full and ripe; used of hops; from bell. – Ash.

BEL-LIP'O-TENT, a. [L. bellum, war, and potens, powerful, bellipotens.]

Powerful or mighty in war. [Little used.] – Dict.

BEL-LIQUE', a. [bellee'k; Old Fr.]

Warlike. [Not used.] – Feltham.


Having no bell. – Scott.

BELL'MAN, n. [bell and man.]

A man who rings a bell, especially to give notice of any thing in the streets.

BELL'MET-AL, n. [bell and metal.]

A mixture of copper and tin, in the proportion of about ten parts of copper to one of tin, or according to Thomson, three parts to one, and usually a small portion of brass or zink; used for making bells. – Encyc.


A disease, attended with languor and intolerable griping of the bowels, common in places where lead ore is smelted. – Encyc.

BEL-LO'NA, n. [from L. bellum, war.]

The goddess of war. – Ant. Mythol.


A loud outcry; roar.

BEL'LOW, v.i. [Sax. bulgian, bylgean; W. ballaw; L. balo; D. bulken; Sw. bäla; Sax. bellan, to bawl. See Bawl.]

  1. To make a hollow, loud noise, as a bull; to make a loud outcry; to roar. In contempt, to vociferate or clamor.
  2. To roar, as the sea in a tempest, or as the wind when violent; to make a loud, hollow, continued sound. – Dryden.