Definition of death knell in US English:

death knell

noun

  • 1The tolling of a bell to mark someone's death.

    • ‘Then he had vanished entirely, and she was left with her heart beginning to pound like a bell's death knell.’
    • ‘Livra's words had set a bell tolling the death knell in the king's head.’
    chime, carillon, ring, ringing, knell, toll, tolling, sound, sounding, clang, boom, resounding, reverberation, change, touch
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Used to refer to the imminent destruction or failure of something.
      ‘the chaos may sound the death knell for the peace plan’
      • ‘An appearance on this register would toll the death knell for an architect's career.’
      • ‘Critics say allowing massive casinos in Britain could produce a generation of gambling addicts and mark the death knell for independent amusement arcade owners on the sea front.’
      • ‘Surely, the now record-breaking floods in York ought to be the death knell for any future commercial developments in, or around, Coppergate.’
      • ‘For a health care system already on life support due to extreme budget cuts, the extraction of $500,000,000 dollars would be the death knell.’
      • ‘With those words of encouragement ringing in my ears like a death knell, I packed up my troubles in my old Adidas bag and smiled, smiled, smiled.’
      • ‘It is hard to know for sure when - or whether - the death knell for a species has tolled.’
      • ‘Could this latest trend sound the death knell for the once standard, grown-up housing option of the two-bedroom?’
      • ‘I could well see it being the death knell for some of the smaller clubs without the opportunity to raise money.’
      • ‘But Margaret believes the death knell started to toll for brownie packs when the cubs and scouts began accepting girls into their formerly all-boy domain.’
      • ‘If enacted, the proposed legislation would mark the death knell of the Public Records Act in California.’
      • ‘But some feel the closures are a death knell for local communities and will force pensioners to get their pensions from bank accounts, removing a vital social contact each week.’
      • ‘Hotter, much drier summers will sound the death knell for lush green lawns in much of the south of England.’
      • ‘And unless it can be revitalised with an influx of young blood, within 20 years the death knell could toll for a very important Scottish industry.’
      • ‘They have been joined by Scottish oyster farmers who fear the warning could sound the death knell for their industry, which is estimated to be worth £1.5m a year.’
      • ‘And they warn that it could be the death knell for hundreds of traditional boozers which do not sell food, and whose regulars enjoy a smoke with their pint.’
      • ‘Fees, he argues, do not sound the death knell for the gap year (although there was a dip in numbers last year), but in fact make it an even more important institution.’
      • ‘Sweeping changes to the way benefits and state pensions are paid will sound the death knell for post offices already struggling to survive, fear sub-postmasters.’
      • ‘A publican in a rural area in Mayo has charged that plans by the Government to further deregulate the licensed trade will sound the death knell for the rural pub.’
      • ‘This could be the death knell for the candidate's campaign.’
      • ‘I am not prepared to ring the death knell of the orchestra even at this time, but things don't look good.’

Pronunciation

death knell

/ˈdeTH ˌnel//ˈdɛθ ˌnɛl/