or·gan | \ˈȯr-gən \

Definition of organ 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a archaic : any of various musical instruments especially : wind instrument

b(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) : reed organ

(3) : an electronic keyboard instrument that approximates the sounds and resources of the pipe organ

(4) : any of various similar cruder instruments

2a : 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

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


the legislative organ of our government that newspaper is intended as an organ for the whole university community

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

More than 114,000 people in the U.S. are currently listed as waiting for an organ transplant. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, "How to Provide Better Incentives to Organ Donors," 24 June 2018 Others might have long-term infections that are preventing them from getting organ transplants. Eric Boodman, STAT, "First phage therapy center in the U.S. signals growing acceptance," 21 June 2018 Getting an organ transplant is not, to put it lightly, a convenient or pleasant process. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Brainstorm Health: HIV Organ Transplants, Artificial Iris Approval, New Jersey Individual Mandate," 1 June 2018 The Ron Springs Gift For Life Foundation raises awareness of early detection and prevention of kidney disease and organ donation. Clarence E. Hill Jr., star-telegram, "Former Cowboys and Buckeyes raising money for Terry Glenn and Ron Springs foundations | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 16 May 2018 Thanks to medical advances in organ donation, Rylen saved five lives. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Smilin’ Rylen Run/Walk for organ donation debuts in Katy’s Cane Island," 27 Apr. 2018 Public service announcements promoting organ donation now festoon subway cars and kiosks around New York City. Ted Alcorn, Vox, "Thousands of organs are lost before they can be donated. Here’s how to save them.," 23 Apr. 2018 Silas' final act of kindness was to give the gift of life through organ donation. Hartford Courant,, "Silas Dean Bunnell," 19 Apr. 2018 For more information about organ donation, visit Donna Rittershausen,, "A victory for organ donation on Super Bowl Sunday," 17 Apr. 2018

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 1a

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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Dictionary Entries near organ







organ beater

Statistics for organ

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for organ

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

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More Definitions for organ



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 \

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 \

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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Comments on organ

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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