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

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 This includes organ transplant recipients, certain cancer patients and people with HIV or other conditions that impair the immune system. NBC News, 20 Apr. 2022 The study, which analyzed the records of nearly 14 million U.S. patients between January 2021 and January 2022, found that pregnancy posed the highest risk out of all high-risk groups, including organ transplant recipients and cancer patients. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 1 Apr. 2022 So can severely immunocompromised patients, such as organ transplant recipients, as young as 12. Lauren Neergaard, The Arizona Republic, 30 Mar. 2022 Americans with immunocompromising conditions, such as organ transplant recipients and active cancer patients, are already authorized to get a fourth dose in the U.S. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 28 Mar. 2022 Evusheld is authorized for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, such as organ transplant recipients, or people on chemotherapy or immunotherapy. Catherine Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 Mar. 2022 In France health authorities authorized a fourth COVID-19 shot for organ transplant recipients who had not responded to three earlier doses. Serena Coady, SELF, 15 Feb. 2022 The system has offered it to patients whose immune systems were harmed by cancer, inhibited by drugs taken by organ transplant recipients and people in other high-risk categories. Madeline Buckley,, 12 Feb. 2022 Specific groups who could benefit from the antibody drug include cancer patients, organ transplant recipients, elderly populations, and people taking immune-suppressing drugs for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 10 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Organ.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for organ


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

More from Merriam-Webster on organ

Nglish: Translation of organ for Spanish Speakers

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


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