1. A ringing of a set of bells, especially a change or set of changes rung on bells.
2. A set of bells tuned to each other; a chime.
3. A loud burst of noise: peals of laughter.
v. pealed, peal·ing, peals
To sound in a peal; ring.
To cause to peal.
[Middle English pele, a bell peal, especially as a summons to church, short for apel, appeal; see APPEAL.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.