bell the cat

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bell 1

1. A hollow metal musical instrument, usually cup-shaped with a flared opening, that emits a metallic tone when struck.
2. Something resembling such an instrument in shape or sound, as:
a. The round, flared opening of a wind instrument at the opposite end from the mouthpiece.
b. bells A percussion instrument consisting of metal tubes or bars that emit tones when struck.
c. A hollow, usually inverted vessel, such as one used for diving deep below the surface of a body of water.
d. The corolla of a flower: "In a cowslip's bell I lie" (Shakespeare).
e. The body of a jellyfish.
3. Nautical
a. A stroke on a hollow metal instrument to mark the hour.
b. The time indicated by the striking of this instrument, divided into half hours.
v. belled, bell·ing, bells
1. To put a bell on.
2. To cause to flare like a bell.
To assume the form of a bell; flare.
bell the cat
To perform a daring act.

[Middle English belle, from Old English.]

bell 2

The bellowing or baying cry of certain animals, such as a deer in rut or a beagle on the hunt.
intr.v. belled, bell·ing, bells
To utter long, deep, resonant sounds; bellow.

[From Middle English bellen, to bellow, from Old English bellan.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.bell the cat - take a riskbell the cat - take a risk; perform a daring act; "Who is going to bell the cat?"
lay on the line, put on the line, risk - expose to a chance of loss or damage; "We risked losing a lot of money in this venture"; "Why risk your life?"; "She laid her job on the line when she told the boss that he was wrong"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
This proposal met with general applause, until an old mouse got up and said: "That is all very well, but who is to bell the Cat?" The mice looked at one another and nobody spoke.
But the question still remains, 'who will bell the cat.'If the current and future generations are to be protected from drug addiction then across-the-board strict and sustained action has to be taken against drug barons and peddlers.
But the bigger question is: When lynching mobs get political patronage profusely, who will dare to bell the cat?
So far we have had not the kind of leadership that could bell the cat, acting in all sincerity for the common good.
One is left wondering who will bell the cat because the three parallel economies; each in order of size, representing the armed forces, the bureaucracy and the wretched people are devoid of a level playing field.
Didn't she have the social and moral responsibility to bell the cat and rescue his victims?
He said it is dilemma of our political system that nobody wants to bell the cat for national cause but if it happens once in a blue moon then everybody comes at daggers drawn.
Someone has to bell the cat and the big question is: Who?
McKissack and beautifully illustrated by Christopher Cyr, "Who Will Bell The Cat?" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4 to 8.
It is time to bell the cat and end the bogie of extremist elements.