Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small, tinkling bell.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A bell; specifically, a grelot: especially applied to such an object of antique Roman origin.
  • noun A rattle formed of small bells or small plates of metal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A bell; also, a set or combination of bells or metal plates used as a musical instrument or as a toy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A small clinking bell.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Latin tintinnābulum, from tintinnāre, to jingle, reduplication of tinnīre, to ring, of imitative origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin tintinnābulum ("bell").

Examples

  • Often, in the repose of my mid-day, there reaches my ears a confused tintinnabulum from without.

    Walden

  • Our name of the plant comes really from the Anglo-Saxon, Foxesglew or Fox music, in allusion to an ancient musical instrument composed of bells which were hanging from an arched support, _a tintinnabulum_, which this plant with its pendent bell-shaped flowers so exactly represents.

    Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure

  • The Latin _tintinnabulum_, a little bell, and the English _tinkle_, the sound made by a little bell, are among the words which are readily recognized as having a natural relation to a certain trivial variety of sound.

    The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 4, August, 1864 Devoted To Literature And National Policy

  • Besides these there is also what Cowper called "clock-work tintinnabulum" -- mere empty jingle.

    The Principles of English Versification

  • See for example Martial, "Epig.", xiv, 161, where the signal for the opening of the baths is made with a tintinnabulum also described as œs thermarum.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 2: Assizes-Browne

  • It may be noted here that in regard to this same tintinnabulum usage varies very much in different countries.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 2: Assizes-Browne

  • We did not know how to play a tin whistle or beat upon the tintinnabulum.

    Waysiders

  • He establishes himself firmly in the land with great joy and plenty; and he gathers round him all that makes life full-toned and harmonious, from the grand timbre of draught-ale and the organ-thunder of hunting, to the piccolo and tintinnabulum of Poker and maraschino.

    Twenty-One Days in India; and, the Teapot Series

  • Often, in the repose of my mid-day, there reaches my ears a confused tintinnabulum from without.

    Walden~ Chapter 18 (historical)

  • It seemed by the distant hum as if somebody's bees had swarmed, and that the neighbors, according to Virgil's advice, by a faint tintinnabulum upon the most sonorous of their domestic utensils, were endeavoring to call them down into the hive again.

    Walden~ Chapter 07 (historical)

Comments

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  • A small tinkling or clinking bell.

    April 7, 2008