barrel

noun
bar·​rel | \ ˈber-əl How to pronounce barrel (audio) , ˈba-rəl\

Definition of barrel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a round bulging vessel of greater length than breadth that is usually made of staves bound with hoops and has flat ends of equal diameter
2a : the amount contained in a barrel especially : the amount (such as 31 gallons of fermented beverage or 42 gallons of petroleum) fixed for a certain commodity used as a unit of measure
b : a great quantity
3 : a drum or cylindrical part: such as
a : the discharging tube of a gun
b : the part of a fountain pen or of a pencil containing the ink or lead
c : a cylindrical or tapering housing containing the optical components of a photographic-lens system and the iris diaphragm
d : the fuel outlet from the carburetor on a gasoline engine
4 : the trunk of a quadruped
on the barrel
: asking for or granting no credit
over a barrel
: at a disadvantage : in an awkward position

barrel

verb
barreled or barrelled; barreling or barrelling

Definition of barrel (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to put or pack in a barrel

intransitive verb

: to move at a high speed or without hesitation

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from barrel

Noun

barreled \ ˈber-​əld How to pronounce barreled (audio) , ˈba-​rəld \ adjective

Examples of barrel in a Sentence

Noun Oak barrels are used for aging the wine. The price of oil is over 30 dollars a barrel. They drank a whole barrel of beer. the barrel of a gun Verb The truck went barreling down Main Street. She came running out of her office and went barreling past us down the hall.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Oil prices came off Monday's highs on Tuesday, with US oil down 1.6% at $61.90 per barrel. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "Dow set to fall and oil prices go into reverse," 17 Sep. 2019 The global benchmark out of the North Sea also jumped almost 15 percent to above $68 per barrel. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Oil spikes nearly 15% on Saudi attack, heightened tensions with Iran," 16 Sep. 2019 At 7pm London time Brent, the leading international benchmark, was 14.7% up, at $69.09 per barrel. The Economist, "The drone strikes in Saudi Arabia spook oil markets," 16 Sep. 2019 Brent crude topped $65 per barrel, its highest level in two months. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Peak Oil Uncertainty: Crude’s Record-setting Jump Roils Global Markets—and the Worst May Be Yet to Come," 16 Sep. 2019 The Saudi oil sites attacked on Saturday, in a drone assault linked to Iran, interrupted about 5.7 million barrels of crude oil production, over 5 percent of the world’s daily supply. Fox News, "Trump: US 'locked and loaded' against attackers of Saudi oil facility 'depending on verification'," 16 Sep. 2019 The price of benchmark U.S. crude slid $1.87, or 3.3%, to settle at $55.23 per barrel. Dallas News, "Dow falls 800 points in its biggest decline of the year, reacting to bad news at home and abroad," 14 Aug. 2019 The price of benchmark U.S. crude slid 3.9% to $54.88 per barrel. Alex Veiga, The Denver Post, "Dow drops 800 points as bond market flashes recession warning for first time since 2007," 14 Aug. 2019 The price of benchmark U.S. crude slid $1.87, or 3.3%, to settle at $55.23 per barrel. Stan Choe And Alex Veiga, chicagotribune.com, "Warning of possible recession sends ripple through U.S. markets and Dow plummeting 800 points," 14 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb He was carted off the field after Marisnick barreled into him at the plate, suffering a broken nose along with the concussion. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "One day after signing with the Cubs, catcher Jonathan Lucroy steps into the fire: ‘He’s going to be very beneficial’," 7 Aug. 2019 And then came this huge truck barreling into the parking lot of the club on Illinois Street, packed with big wooden crates, all addressed to Miss Collins. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "She was 15, a swimmer at Broad Ripple High, when she landed the cover of Sports Illustrated," 10 July 2019 Rodriguez, by comparison, hasn’t been giving hitters much of anything to barrel up this year. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles’ Rutschman, Rodriguez connect at Delmarva: ‘You’re looking at, potentially, the future of the organization’," 25 Aug. 2019 Dozens of residents from a Southwest Alaska village safely evacuated to other communities Monday as a wildfire threatened to barrel into the village, officials said. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Residents evacuate as wildfire approaches village in Southwest Alaska," 20 Aug. 2019 Having achieved moderate success in recent years, the Pearland Oiler volleyball team would certainly like to barrel into the playoffs in 2019 instead of softly entering the postseason parade. Ted Dunnam, Houston Chronicle, "Volleyball: Pearland should contend for District 23-6A title," 28 June 2019 Even though the skies outside promised a bright morning, the meteorologists calculated that a parade of storms was poised to barrel across the Atlantic, hampering the prospects of success. Hannah Fry, The New Yorker, "Why Weather Forecasting Keeps Getting Better," 24 June 2019 At the time of the interview on Thursday, Sept. 5th, Hurricane Dorian was barreling down the coast of the Carolinas. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "The Insurance CEO Who Gives Customers His Cellphone Number," 13 Sep. 2019 On the next play, Jacobs barreled 4 yards into the end zone for his second touchdown to give the Raiders a two-touchdown lead. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Raiders, Derek Carr pass test against Broncos with flying colors," 9 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barrel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of barrel

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for barrel

Noun

Middle English barayl, barel, borrowed from Anglo-French barel, baril (continental Old French barril), going back to Gallo-Romance *barrīculus, probably diminutive of *barrīca "cask, barrel" — more at barricade entry 2

Verb

verbal derivative of barrel entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for barrel

barrel

noun
How to pronounce barrel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of barrel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a round usually wooden container with curved sides and flat ends
: the amount of something in a barrel
: the part of a gun that the bullets go through when the gun is fired

barrel

verb

English Language Learners Definition of barrel (Entry 2 of 2)

US, informal : to move very fast and often in an uncontrolled or dangerous way

barrel

noun
bar·​rel | \ ˈber-əl How to pronounce barrel (audio) \

Kids Definition of barrel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a round container often with curved sides that is longer than it is wide and has flat ends
2 : the amount contained in a full barrel a barrel of water
3 : something shaped like a cylinder the barrel of a gun

barrel

verb
barreled or barrelled; barreling or barrelling

Kids Definition of barrel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move at a high speed

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on barrel

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to engage in dissolute behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!