One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A bell rung at a person's death or funeral; a passing bell. Also figurative and in figurative contexts. Now chiefly historical.
2A sound in the ears like the ringing of a bell or (in plural) bells, supposed by some people to portend death.
Mid 16th century. Originally from death + bell.
death bell/ˈdɛθ bɛl/
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