barrel organ


Definition of barrel organ

: an instrument for producing music by the action of a revolving cylinder studded with pegs on a series of valves that admit air from a bellows to a set of pipes

Examples of barrel organ in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The vessels carried more than three years’ worth of food and drink, as well as two barrel organs and libraries with some 2,900 books. National Geographic, "In 1845 explorers sought the Northwest Passage—then vanished," 8 Aug. 2019

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

First Known Use of barrel organ

1750, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for barrel organ

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The first known use of barrel organ was in 1750

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Cite this Entry

“Barrel organ.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for barrel organ

barrel organ


English Language Learners Definition of barrel organ

: a large musical instrument that is played by turning a handle and that was once commonly played by performers (called organ-grinders) on city streets

More from Merriam-Webster on barrel organ

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with barrel organ Encyclopedia article about barrel organ

Comments on barrel organ

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


very cautious or careful

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