or·​gan | \ ˈȯr-gən How to pronounce organ (audio) \

Definition of organ

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a differentiated structure (such 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
2a(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) : an electronic keyboard instrument that approximates the sounds and resources of the pipe organ
(4) : any of various similar cruder instruments
b archaic : any of various musical instruments especially : wind instrument
3 : a subordinate group or organization that performs specialized functions the various organs of government
variants: or organo-

Definition of organ- (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : organ organogenesis
2 : organic organomercurial

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Examples of organ in a Sentence

Noun the legislative organ of our government that newspaper is intended as an organ for the whole university community
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And that's all thanks to my organ donor and her family. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "This ER doctor and heart transplant survivor wants you to wear a mask," 31 July 2020 News reports said the cause was septic shock and multiple organ failure. Jonathan Kandell,, "Lee Teng-hui, Taiwan’s first democratically elected president, 97," 30 July 2020 Notably, the liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself. Fox News, "California man gets liver, nephew donates liver -- in separate operations: report," 30 July 2020 His team had to put down the wood flooring, build the stage, and bring in items like the organ, a cross, banners, and bleachers. Radhika Marya, Fortune, "How HBO’s ‘Perry Mason’ brought its vintage, yet fresh look together," 12 July 2020 The watermelon fruit is actually a water storage organ by design. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "An ode to watermelon. Why it's the best summer fruit. And if you don't agree, you're wrong," 3 July 2020 Johnson, an organ donor, is survived by his wife, his two sons and his parents, Wendell said. Jordan Culver, USA TODAY, "'His sacrifice will not go unremembered': Oklahoma police sergeant fatally shot during traffic stop, suspect arrested," 30 June 2020 Because Black patients are more likely to receive an organ from a Black donor, the algorithm reduces the number of kidneys available to them. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Racial bias skews algorithms widely used to guide care from heart surgery to birth, study finds," 17 June 2020 To prevent this spread, surgeons often use devices called wound protectors, which are put in place around wound openings during surgery to keep cancer from spreading from an organ to an incision. Maggie O'neill,, "This Man’s Colon Cancer Spread to the Surface of His Skin. Here’s How That Can Happen," 10 June 2020

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

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First Known Use of organ


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

History and Etymology for 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

Combining form

Greek organon

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Time Traveler for organ

Time Traveler

The first known use of organ was before the 12th century

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Statistics for organ

Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Organ.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for organ


How to pronounce organ- (audio)

English Language Learners 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


or·​gan | \ ˈȯr-gən How to pronounce organ (audio) \

Kids Definition of organ

1 : a musical instrument played by means of one or more keyboards and having pipes sounded by compressed air
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 : a way of getting something done Courts are organs of government.


or·​gan | \ ˈȯr-gən How to pronounce organ (audio) \

Medical Definition of organ

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

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