Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun or·gan \ˈȯr-gən\

Simple Definition of organ

  • : a part of the body (such as the heart or liver) that has a particular function

  • —used as a polite way of saying penis

  • : a musical instrument that has a keyboard and pipes of different lengths and that makes sound by pushing air through the pipes

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of organ

  1. 1 a archaic :  any of various musical instruments; especially :  wind instrument b (1) :  a keyboard instrument in which sets of pipes are sounded by compressed air and produce a variety of timbres —called also pipe organ (2) :  reed organ (3) :  an electronic keyboard instrument that approximates the sounds and resources of the pipe organ (4) :  any of various similar cruder instruments

  2. 2 a :  a differentiated structure (as a heart, kidney, leaf, or stem) consisting of cells and tissues and performing some specific function in an organism b :  bodily parts performing a function or cooperating in an activity <the eyes and related structures that make up the visual organs>

  3. 3 :  a subordinate group or organization that performs specialized functions <the various organs of government>

  4. 4 :  periodical

Examples of organ in a sentence

  1. the legislative organ of our government

  2. <that newspaper is intended as an organ for the whole university community>

Origin of organ

Middle English, partly from Old English organa, from Latin organum, from Greek organon, literally, tool, instrument; partly from Anglo-French organe, from Latin organum; akin to Greek ergon work — more at work

First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with organ


combining form or·gan

Definition of organ-

  1. 1 :  organ <organogenesis>

  2. 2 :  organic <organomercurial>

Variants of organ-

or organo-

Origin of organ-

Greek organon

ORGAN Defined for Kids


noun or·gan \ˈȯr-gən\

Definition of organ for Students

  1. 1 :  a musical instrument played by means of one or more keyboards and having pipes sounded by compressed air

  2. 2 :  a part of a person, plant, or animal that is specialized to perform a particular function <The eye is an organ of sight.>

  3. 3 :  a way of getting something done <Courts are organs of government.>

Medical Dictionary


noun or·gan \ˈȯr-gən\

Medical Definition of organ

  1. :  a differentiated structure (as a heart or kidney) consisting of cells and tissues and performing some specific function in an organism

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up organ? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tending to dismiss important matters

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

reduce disapprove soothe perplex
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.