One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A vessel for containing air; specifically (a) a diving bell; (b) an open-bottomed bell-shaped glass vessel used with its open end downwards to contain a gas or to protect samples; a bell jar.
2A small bubble of air; (Photography) one formed in the developer and appearing as a spot on a plate, film, or paper.
3Caving. An air-filled chamber in an otherwise water-filled cave system.
Late 18th century.
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