nounEtymology: Middle French toquassen, from Old Occitan tocasenh, from tocar to touch, ring a bell (from Vulgar Latin *toccare) + senh sign, bell, from Medieval Latin & Latin signum; Medieval Latin, bell, from Late Latin, ringing of a bell, from Latin, mark, sign — more at touch, signDate: 1586 1. an alarm bell or the ringing of it 2. a warning signal
Tocsin Toc"sin, n. [F., fr. OF. toquier to touch, F. toquer (originally, a dialectic form of F. toucher) + seint (for sein) a bell, LL. signum, fr. L. signum a sign, signal. See Touch, and Sign.] An alarm bell, or the ringing of a bell for the purpose of alarm. The loud tocsin tolled their last alarm. --Campbell.