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
(3) : reed 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 But the singer doesn’t try to sound like Cooke on the tune, which is a somber cry for people to lift their voices set to acoustic guitar, church organ, and a slow-beating tambourine. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, "Oscars 2021: Hear the Nominees for Best Original Song," 15 Mar. 2021 One is that the virus remains in the body at undetectable levels yet still causes tissue or organ damage. Lindsey Tanner, Chron, "Survivors struggle as scientists race to solve COVID mystery," 14 Mar. 2021 One is that the virus remains in the body at undetectable levels yet still causes tissue or organ damage. Lindsey Tanner,, "Long-haulers struggle with lingering or new symptoms as scientists race to solve a coronavirus mystery," 14 Mar. 2021 For the first time since the onset of COVID-19, concerts announced for April and May include flute, oboe, and clarinet as well as strings, piano, organ, and percussion. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Cleveland Orchestra adds woodwinds to “In Focus” mix for April and May," 3 Mar. 2021 The necropsy team, working at about one-third of its normal personnel due to the pandemic, collected a variety of bone, organ and tissue samples. Michael Williams, San Francisco Chronicle, "Scientists investigating death of rare pygmy sperm whale that washed ashore in Sonoma County," 22 Feb. 2021 Elevated by the sounds of a classic organ and voice distortion, the singer-songwriter turns the unique pop offering into a hymn of brutal introspection. Ineye Komonibo,, "New Music To Know: Love On The Brain," 12 Feb. 2021 The musician complements her piano, organ, and guitar with saxophone, flute, strings, and percussionists playing propulsive patterns. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, "Bringing the outside in: How one songwriter finds creativity," 3 Feb. 2021 The choir and organ music have been swapped for piano and guitars. Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune, "More drums, fewer choirs as 'vibrant' church styles rise in popularity," 23 Jan. 2021

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

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Organ.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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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 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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