1. an apparatus for striking a bell so as to produce a musical sound, as one at the front door of a house by which visitors announce their presence.
  2. Often chimes.
    1. a set of bells or of slabs of metal, stone, wood, etc., producing musical tones when struck.
    2. a musical instrument consisting of such a set, especially a glockenspiel.
    3. the musical tones thus produced.
    4. carillon.
  3. harmonious sound in general; music; melody.
  4. harmonious relation; accord: the battling duo, in chime at last.

verb (used without object), chimed, chim·ing.

  1. to sound harmoniously or in chimes as a set of bells: The church bells chimed at noon.
  2. to produce a musical sound by striking a bell, gong, etc.; ring chimes: The doorbell chimed.
  3. to speak in cadence or singsong.
  4. to harmonize; agree: The scenery chimed perfectly with the play’s eerie mood.

verb (used with object), chimed, chim·ing.

  1. to give forth (music, sound, etc.), as a bell or bells.
  2. to strike (a bell, set of bells, etc.) so as to produce musical sound.
  3. to put, bring, indicate, announce, etc., by chiming: Bells chimed the hour.
  4. to utter or repeat in cadence or singsong: The class chimed a greeting to the new teacher.

Verb Phrases

  1. chime in,
    1. to break suddenly and unwelcomely into a conversation, as to express agreement or voice an opinion.
    2. to harmonize with, as in singing.
    3. to be consistent or compatible; agree: The new building will not chime in with the surrounding architecture.


  1. the edge or brim of a cask, barrel, or the like, formed by the ends of the staves projecting beyond the head or bottom.


  1. an individual bell or the sound it makes when struck
  2. (often plural) the machinery employed to sound a bell in this way
  3. Also called: bell a percussion instrument consisting of a set of vertical metal tubes of graduated length, suspended in a frame and struck with a hammer
  4. a harmonious or ringing soundthe chimes of children’s laughter
  5. agreement; concord


    1. to sound (a bell) or (of a bell) to be sounded by a clapper or hammer
    2. to produce (music or sounds) by chiming
  1. (tr) to indicate or show (time or the hours) by chiming
  2. (tr) to summon, announce, or welcome by ringing bells
  3. (intr foll by with) to agree or harmonize
  4. to speak or recite in a musical or rhythmic manner


  1. the projecting edge or rim of a cask or barrel

c.1300, chymbe “cymbal,” from Old English cymbal, cimbal, also perhaps through Old French chimbe or directly from Latin cymbalum (see cymbal, the modern word for what this word originally meant). Evidently the word was misinterpreted as chymbe bellen (c.1300) and its sense shifted to “chime bells,” a meaning attested from mid-15c.


mid-14c., chyme, from chime (n.). Originally of metal, etc.; of voices from late 14c. To chime in originally was musical, “join harmoniously;” of conversation by 1838. Related: Chimed; chiming.

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