Definition of peal in English:

peal

noun

  • 1A loud ringing of a bell or bells.

    ‘the bell rang again, a long, loud peal’
    • ‘I'll bet it was welcomed with peals of bells back in 1820.’
    • ‘The deep silence here is broken by the peal of the brass bell gently tapped by a devotee praying for a wish to be granted.’
    • ‘All the great cities and towns throughout the country entered with joyous spirit into the peace celebrations, while villages and hamlets, too, had their rejoicing and peals of bells.’
    • ‘Normally the peal of eight bells is heard on Tuesday practice nights, on Sundays when services are held and on many Saturdays when weddings take place.’
    • ‘Her grandma was very devout and the peal of bells was a familiar sound to her in the mornings.’
    • ‘The bell rings a harsh peal and the girls stop in their tracks.’
    • ‘My question was answered when the peal of distant bells rang through the misty woods.’
    • ‘Several London churches are mentioned in the rhyme, and the original tune mimicked the peals of their bells.’
    • ‘The grandfather clock chimed five times, five heavy, drawn-out peals.’
    • ‘Late one Friday night a note was slipped through his door warning him there would be a non-stop peal of bells for three hours from 10 am the next morning and suggesting he went out.’
    • ‘In England, the sound of the organ, choirboys and a peal of bells instantly springs to mind.’
    • ‘The heavy peals of a bell rang out before Alex could respond.’
    • ‘For the last 107 years, the passing of every quarter of an hour has been marked by a peal of bells at a South Yorkshire church.’
    • ‘And will continue to be so as long as the peal of wedding bells drowns out everything else.’
    • ‘About 10 am the ringers of the bells rang two merry peals when the scholars immediately assembled.’
    • ‘The enemy, hearing the sudden peal, concluded that the Austrian army had arrived during the night to defend the town.’
    • ‘A flag of St George will fly from the church tower and it is hoped that the ribbon-cutting will be marked by a peal of bells from St George's church tower.’
    • ‘The bell rings its monotonous peal of imprisonment, mocking us for being forced to follow its commands.’
    • ‘On the conclusion of his remarks, enthusiastic cheers, the thunder of cannon, and the peals of bells welcomed the visitants to the town.’
    • ‘As Sunday worshippers filed into St Mary's, the faint peal of church bells could be heard above the driving rain.’
    chime, carillon, ring, ringing, knell, toll, tolling, sound, sounding, death knell, clang, boom, resounding, reverberation, change, touch
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    1. 1.1Bell-ringing A series of changes (strictly, at least five thousand) rung on a set of bells.
      • ‘Maxwell Davies's Stedman Caters for chamber ensemble and Stedman Doubles for clarinet and percussion are based on bell peals.’
      • ‘As the organist plays the Prelude and Fugue in E Flat by Bach, the bells of the Abbey will be rung half-muffled to a peal of Stedman Caters, comprising 5101 changes.’
      • ‘Yesterday, the celebrations continued with a Jubilee service at St Peter's Church, in Malton, which was followed by a peal of the bells in honour of the Queen's 50th year on the Throne.’
      • ‘To celebrate the centenary of the dedication the guild performed a full peal.’
      • ‘It has been four-years since members of St James's Church tower ringers have played a full peal of 12 bells.’
    2. 1.2 A set of bells.
      • ‘The peal of six was cast in London in 1770, the tenor bell, which was the largest, weighing more than 11 cwt.’
      • ‘27m high and octagonal in plan, the tower contains a full peal of eight bells on its third floor.’
      • ‘25 years ago: A new peal of bells arrived at St Martin's Church, Coney Street, to replace bells damaged when the church was bombed in 1941.’
      • ‘The service will begin at 7.15 pm, and will be accompanied by the sound of the newly installed peal of church bells at St Andrew's Church.’
      • ‘There are only 10 bells, whereas most English cathedrals have a full peal of 12.’
      • ‘The Anglican Cathedral has the longest nave, largest organ and heaviest and highest peal of bells in the world.’
  • 2A loud repeated or reverberating sound of thunder or laughter.

    ‘Ross burst into peals of laughter’
    • ‘Everyone silenced, looking at him standing there, and then, peals of laughter echoed round the table.’
    • ‘I can almost hear the peals of laughter echoing up and down the land.’
    • ‘Friends they visited recalled the peals of laughter that would come from their room.’
    • ‘These shows only lasted a few seconds but were always followed by thunderous peals of laughter, especially by the ‘artist’ himself.’
    • ‘He and Pamela broke into a peal of stifled giggling!’
    • ‘In his humorous way he sent people into peals of laughter.’
    • ‘Again, a peal of laugher erupted from the man beside him.’
    • ‘I was then seized by sudden peals of laughter which echoed and resounded through the rusting steel roof of the building.’
    • ‘The man behind all this is short in height but it is no tall order for him to send people into peals of laughter.’
    • ‘Finally, you'd say what I wanted to hear, and then I'd feel relieved for a few seconds, and we'd collapse into peals of laughter.’
    • ‘Soon, her peals of laughter echoed through the trees around them.’
    • ‘I peeped at her, bursting into peals of laughter.’
    • ‘We were getting dressed in our cabin when we heard Peggy starting to laugh next door and she went on and on, peal after peal.’
    • ‘It is not unusual for him to burst into peals of laughter on and off the track.’
    • ‘This was considered a top class joke, and always sent the crowd into peals of laughter.’
    • ‘Suddenly there was the sound of a branch breaking in the clutter of trees followed by loud peals of laughter.’
    • ‘Massive peals of laughter rang out from the passenger seat.’
    • ‘This led to peals of laughter from my partner and the two girls.’
    • ‘From the kitchen, she could hear peals of laughter sounding where Robert, the butler, was doubtless entertaining her younger siblings.’
    • ‘To her chagrin, Nook burst out in peals of unrestrained mirth.’
    shriek, shout, scream, howl, gale, fit, eruption, ripple, roar, hoot
    rumble, roar, boom, rumbling, crash, clap, crack, resounding, reverberation
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verb

[no object]
  • 1(of a bell or bells) ring loudly or in a peal.

    ‘all the bells of the city began to peal’
    • ‘But when Elizabeth heard the bells pealing to celebrate the death of Mary Queen of Scots, she was horrified.’
    • ‘The church was beautiful tonight, and it was all the more wonderful when, at midnight, the bells began to peal and the whole world rejoiced that Christ was born.’
    • ‘Just a day after the enclave gathered to choose the successor to John Paul II, white smoke plumed from the Vatican's Sistine Chapel and the bells pealed across Rome.’
    • ‘The bells pealed out in York Minster, St Stephen's, Acomb, St Andrew's, Bishopthorpe, and in other church towers across the region yesterday.’
    • ‘The church bells were still ringing, pealing off their notes of joy across the city.’
    • ‘They summon, they clang, they peal and they boom in a uniquely cacophonous harmony.’
    • ‘The church bells pealed for the morning nuptial mass and a reception followed.’
    • ‘The sounds of wedding bells pealed through the air.’
    • ‘What's more, the chord sequence, which gently reveals itself to be church bells pealing in the distance, is completely and devastatingly the emotional heart of the thing.’
    • ‘The bell at the door pealed once again, as it had constantly all day.’
    • ‘The bells of the world's only glass and steel belltower will peal for the longest time ever to celebrate the life of a cancer victim.’
    • ‘Two more bells will be installed within the week, but it will be some months before they are heard pealing across Lismore.’
    • ‘It pealed like a bell, but the noise it made was so loud, so all-consuming, that she knew it couldn't be a physical bell.’
    • ‘Bells pealed across Monaco yesterday as the principality praised Prince Albert II's rise to the throne and bid a final symbolic farewell to his late father Rainier III.’
    • ‘What he saw was the thunder-lights lifting, and the bells pealing an urgent carillon as the glittering gold ship was spotted.’
    • ‘A bell pealed and echoed out across the lush lawn, and the children scrambled to their feet.’
    • ‘Church bells can be heard pealing through its streetside windows.’
    • ‘The bell that will peal at the end of Sunday's ceremony was salvaged from the ship and usually sits in the foyer of Forum North.’
    • ‘What surer sign that summer is on its way than the sound of wedding bells, pealing across the countryside?’
    • ‘On her wrists and ankles, she wore chains of golden bells which pealed quietly, yet daringly as she moved to take centre stage, standing right before the fire where everyone had gathered.’
    ring, ring out, chime, chime out, clang, toll
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    1. 1.1 (of laughter or thunder) sound in a peal.
      ‘Aunt Edie's laughter pealed around the parlour’
      • ‘To the onlookers below, it seemed as if a second sun lurched drunkenly through the sky, from which blazing goddesses descended and ascended while thunderbolts flashed and pealed.’
      • ‘A short silence reigned for a few seconds before amused female laughter pealed out.’
      • ‘By now, the thunderstorm was fully upon them, with thunder pealing across the sky and lightening streaking all around them as a punishing rain fell.’
      • ‘That did it; I pealed with laughter, Kassi joining me.’
      • ‘Shasa's face didn't change, but her laughter pealed in their mind's ears.’
      rumble, roar, boom, crash, resound, reverberate
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    2. 1.2with object Convey by the ringing of bells.
      ‘the carillon pealed out the news to the waiting city’

Origin

Late Middle English: shortening of appeal.

Pronunciation

peal

/piːl/