One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(in boxing and other sports) be saved from being counted out by the ringing of the bell at the end of a round.
- ‘He was saved by the bell in rounds five, six and seven.’
- ‘In the ninth round the champion was saved by the bell.’
- ‘The visitor, whose legs were buckled by a left hook to the side of the head, was in fact saved by the bell in the first round.’
- ‘He went down two more times in the first round and was saved by the bell.’
- ‘But Clay was saved by the bell and went on to triumph over Cooper.’
- ‘He was knocked down twice in the ninth round and was saved by the bell.’
- ‘Willard had been saved by the bell at the count of seven.’
- ‘With 25 seconds to go to the end of the round Cantwell suddenly found himself on his knees only to be saved by the bell on that occasion.’
- ‘Thompson felled Sellers twice in their amazing slug-fest, and the Yank was saved by the bell on both occasions.’
- ‘He was saved by the bell from a fourth round knock-out.’
- 1.1 Escape from a difficult situation narrowly or by an unexpected intervention.
- ‘They were saved by the bell when a courtly looking man, most likely a bodyguard, showed up out of nowhere, went up to the podium, and promptly announced that there was a bomb threat on the building.’
- ‘I had the sense that any moment another question would befall me - but I was saved by the bell.’
- ‘As with most other remarkable escapes, Morgan is saved by the bell.’
- ‘I was saved by the bell and reached for salvation before anyone else dreamed of moving - they were trying to wake up from their peaceful slumber.’
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