barrel

noun
bar·rel | \ˈber-əl, 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, 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

Researchers from the National Museum of Denmark, the University of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen Museum retrieved samples of organic deposits found in the barrels in order to analyze their grain, fruit and seed content. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Archaeologists Unseal 17th-Century Danish Latrines to Discover Copenhageners’ Dietary Habits," 9 July 2018 In August 2016, when the two met in a final, in coral-grinding barrels at Teahupoo, Tahiti, Slater did everything but take Florence over his knee for a fatherly spanking on the way to an easy win. Matt Warshaw, Outside Online, "The Dominance of Kelly Slater," 5 July 2018 The lot had a street value of $1.7 million and was found in barrels being shipped from China. Aubrey Nagle, Philly.com, "Philly preps for the Fourth, Allentown Cadets march on | Morning Newsletter," 3 July 2018 Shaffer told police the two girls had been placed in the water barrels to hide them from law enforcement. Emily Davies, PEOPLE.com, "Utah Men Married Each Other's 7- and 8-Year-Old Daughters — as One Is Sentenced to Prison," 29 June 2018 The brewing team at the new Guinness site is already brewing beer and has some beers aging in barrels. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Guinness looks to tap into craft beer creativity with new US brewery, opening Aug. 3," 29 June 2018 Then there’s famed Nuits St. George producers Denis and Bertrand Chevillon of Domaine Robert Chevillon, who age their Passetoutgrain for 16 months in largely neutral barrels before release, almost as long as their Premier Cru Pinots. Patrick Comiskey, latimes.com, "Alternatives to Burgundy, from Burgundy," 29 June 2018 Available in blanco and reposado (aged one year in whiskey barrels). Kellie Hwang, azcentral, "Micah Olson gets behind the bar of Arizona Distilling Co.'s new cocktail lounge," 27 June 2018 The distillery has sold its own gin for about four years, but bourbon has been aging in barrels. Chris Mayhew, Cincinnati.com, "Despite trade tariffs, Newport's New Riff Distilling ready to unveil bourbon," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kemp, who was clearly beaten by a throw from Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara, barreled through Chirinos trying to jar the ball loose. Scott Boeck, USA TODAY, "MLB suspends Matt Kemp, Robinson Chirinos for on-field skirmish," 15 June 2018 But Panthers quarterback Cam Newton — the host for the 25 teams that included a couple dozen celebrity players — gave chase to the red playground ball and barreled through a couple sections of white plastic fencing going after it. Joseph Person, charlotteobserver, "A Falcons OTAs no-show, Julio Jones makes appearance at Cam Newton's kickball tourney," 1 June 2018 Will often barrel into the paint without a plan, or rush a shot without setting himself. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "2018 NBA Draft: Elie Okobo Scouting Report and Highlights," 15 June 2018 Hurricane Harvey barreled into Port Aransas a month later, on the evening of August 25, packing 130 mph winds and driving rain. Eric Dexheimer, ajc, "HURRICANE HARVEY: Bait shop owner’s insurance payout thwarted by a typo," 23 Apr. 2018 While its second weekend drop is about 10 percent steeper than that of the first film, worldwide, the film has grossed $932.4 million to date and is barreling toward the $1 billion mark. Fox News, "'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' takes No 1. at the box office for the 2nd time," 1 July 2018 America’s railroads are barreling toward an end-of-2018 deadline in which every heavy passenger rail in the country is supposed to have PTC installed. Jason Laughlin, Philly.com, "Why SEPTA's safety system didn't stop a train collision at Temple University," 7 June 2018 The storm is barreling toward the east coast of Florida this weekend, and the area is preparing with mandatory evacuations. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "What You Should Do If a Natural Disaster Happens While You're Traveling," 8 Sep. 2017 That same truck was barreling down the highway at 75 mph when Jax decided to make a run for it. Maria Carter, Country Living, "This Brave Puppy Jumped Out of a Moving Truck After Burglars Took Him," 31 July 2015

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

Learn More about barrel

Statistics for barrel

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for barrel

The first known use of barrel was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for barrel

barrel

noun

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)

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

barrel

noun
bar·rel | \ˈber-əl \

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

one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!