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


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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

It would be placed in the aorta, which is the large artery that supplies blood to vital organs and the rest of the body. Andrea Leinfelder, Houston Chronicle, "Houston company raises $30M for clinical trials to treat heart failure," 17 July 2019 When the body can no longer cool itself, blood stops reaching vital organs and the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, liver and muscles can begin to malfunction. Rick Maese,, "Extreme heat is changing sports, from the Olympics to local races," 15 July 2019 Like the more familiar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the technique uses powerful magnetic fields and radio waves to create images of internal organs and soft-tissue. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Livongo Gets Rolling on Its Digital Health IPO: Brainstorm Health," 15 July 2019 Aspergillosis can range from mild to serious, manifesting as an allergic reaction or infections in the lungs and other organs. CBS News, "Seattle Children's Hospital mold infections leave one dead, force closure of most operating rooms," 3 July 2019 These include a printer designed to create 3D organ-like tissues in space, as well as an experiment to culture cells taken from patients with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Watch SpaceX launch a new docking port to the International Space Station," 24 July 2019 White matter comprises the wiring that connects cells and organs into wider circuits. Benedict Carey,, "Were US diplomats attacked in Cuba? Brain study deepens mystery," 23 July 2019 Differences between the two specimens include a possible pressure-sensitive organ that the new species could use to detect motion hundreds of feet away and some differences in the teeth, the scientists wrote. Janet Mcconnaughey,, "A shark discovered in the Gulf of Mexico is a new species that can fit in your pocket and squirt glowing clouds into the ocean," 19 July 2019 Although the illness lasts up to seven days, for young children, elderly adults and people with weak immune systems the disease can become more severe — the bacteria can infiltrate into the bloodstream and reach other organs. Maria Elena Vizcaino, Dallas News, "Pet Supplies Plus recalls pig ear dog treats after possible link to salmonella outbreak," 18 July 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near organ







organ beater

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Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

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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 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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More from Merriam-Webster on organ

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with organ

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for organ

Spanish Central: Translation of organ

Nglish: Translation of organ for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of organ for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about organ

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).


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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