fir·​kin ˈfər-kən How to pronounce firkin (audio)
: a small wooden vessel or cask
: any of various British units of capacity usually equal to ¹/₄ barrel

Examples of firkin in a Sentence

the innkeeper opened up a firkin of his special ale for the weary travelers
Recent Examples on the Web Festivities start at 5 p.m. with Michelle tapping a firkin of Termination Dust conditioned with black currants & cinnamon. Anchorage Daily News, 30 Sep. 2021 Free beer, root beer while supplies last on first day of each stop The first day the beer garden arrives at each location, there will be a firkin tapping with free beer, and also free root beer, while supplies last. Hannah Kirby, Journal Sentinel, 16 Mar. 2023 Artwork will be displayed in The Loft alongside a fiery firkin keg. Anchorage Daily News, 4 Feb. 2021 Clendaniel will be tapping a firkin of 2014 Sloth imperial Belgian-style stout cask-conditioned with blackberries to start the show. Anchorage Daily News, 4 June 2020 Streetside has challenged six local teams to use firkins as a vessel in which to rest the brewery’s delicious Demogorgon stout on a variety of adjuncts (nutella and strawberry, anyone?). Matt Koesters,, 13 Mar. 2020 Meet the artist and sip on a firkin during the opening reception at 5 p.m. On view through August. Anchorage Daily News, 1 Aug. 2019 The artist will be there to tap a firkin of Sloth Imperial Belgian Stout cask-conditioned with tart cherries soaked in cabernet to kick things off. Anchorage Daily News, 6 June 2019 Also look for Riverwest Stein, Eastside Dark, IPA, New Grist Pilsner and a daily firkin from Lakefront. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 17 May 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'firkin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, ultimately from Middle Dutch veerdel fourth, from veer four; akin to Old English fēower — more at four

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of firkin was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near firkin

Cite this Entry

“Firkin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


fir·​kin ˈfər-kən How to pronounce firkin (audio)
: a small wooden container or barrel
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