What is the meaning and the most frequent context of

What is the meaning and the most frequent context of the use of this word? I can’t figure it out by myself.

The only context I can think of is ‘death knell.’
The English definition of ‘knell’ is: the sound of a bell, especially when rung (solemnly) for a death or funeral.
The word ‘knell’ is related to the Dutch word ‘knal,’ a short and very loud sound, like a bang, pop or crack. (In today’s English, the K in ‘knell’ is silent, but originally (in Old English) the K was pronounced, just as it is in today’s Dutch word ‘knal.’ This explains why the (now silent) K is retained in the spelling of ‘knell.’)
‘Death knell’ can be the literal tolling of the bell to mark someone’s death,
BUT IT IS MOST FREQUENTLY USED FIGURATIVELY to mean that something marks the end or death of something.

“Any little mistake can be a death knell on a résumé.” Meaning: It is almost certain that the person who made the mistake on his or her résumé won’t even be considered for the job. The mistake on the résumé “kills” his or her chances of getting the job.


Wow! Thanks for your amazing answer! It really improved my comprehension of the term :slight_smile: