ETYM Old Eng. knel, cnul, AS. cnyll, from cnyllan to sound a bell; cf. Dutch and German knallen to clap, crack, German and Swed. knall a clap, crack, loud sound, Dan. knalde to clap, crack. Related to Knoll.
The sound of a bell rung slowly to announce a death or a funeral or the end of something.
To ring, as of bells announcing death.