Unlike the west, school bells don't ring but make a melodious series of dinging sounds. What's the word to refer to them?

Example sentence:

The school bell still __ in my ears.

Chiming? Ringing?

Here's the sound: https://youtu.be/xEQ3c8xyLZc

  • Don't you think a sound clip is in order here? Otherwise, only users who have attended Japanese school, or watched a documentary about them will be able to answer – Mari-Lou A May 28 '17 at 12:04
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    I've heard all manner of school bell sounds in the US, so it's hard to guess what you're talking about. – Hot Licks May 28 '17 at 12:27
  • @Mari-Lou A I added a YouTube video with the sound. – janoChen May 28 '17 at 12:38
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    Sounds similar to a [synthetic] grandfather clock striking the hour and here's Big Ben Chiming? ding-dong? – Mari-Lou A May 28 '17 at 12:40
  • Oh, don't acknowledge my help at all. By the way it's chiming, exactly how I spelled it, only one m is needed, not three. – Mari-Lou A May 28 '17 at 12:49

That sort of "melodious series of dinging sounds" is called a chime.

1 A bell or a metal bar or tube, typically one of a set tuned to produce a melodious series of ringing sounds when struck.

1.1 A melodious ringing sound produced by striking a set of chimes. ‘I hear the chimes of the hour from the courthouse’


There is a corresponding verb form.

As for filling in the blank in your sentence, a past simple sounds most natural; you could say 'chimed'. Or 'was still chiming'.


There's nothing particularly unusual about that bell sound and any standard "bell" verb will work.

That said, for practical purposes, things only "ring in your ears"; bells mostly "ring"; and any other verb you use is going to sound poetic ("chimed", "tolled", "echoed", "called"...) or unusual ("dinned", "sounded"...).

If you really want to call out the different musical quality of the "Japanese" bell, you'd use description or, failing that, adjectives.

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