from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A small, tinkling bell.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A small clinking bell.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A bell; also, a set or combination of bells or metal plates used as a musical instrument or as a toy.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A bell; specifically, a grelot: especially applied to such an object of antique Roman origin.
- n. A rattle formed of small bells or small plates of metal.
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.
Besides these there is also what Cowper called "clock-work tintinnabulum" -- mere empty jingle.
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.
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.
It may be noted here that in regard to this same tintinnabulum usage varies very much in different countries.
We did not know how to play a tin whistle or beat upon the tintinnabulum.
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.
Often, in the repose of my mid-day, there reaches my ears a confused tintinnabulum from without.
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.
Romano Imperio rebellis erat, statim imago illius provinciæ vertebat se contra illam; unde tintinnabulum resonabat quod pendebat ad collum; tuncque vates Capitolii qui erant custodes senatui, &c. He mentions an example of the Saxons and Suevi, who, after they had been subdued by