organ

1 of 2

noun

or·​gan ˈȯr-gən How to pronounce organ (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
a(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)
(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
4

organ-

2 of 2

combining form

variants or organo-
1
: organ
organogenesis
2
: organic
organomercurial

Example Sentences

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
Bringing awareness to organ donation was an important aspect for the researchers. Raenu Charles, CNN, 1 Dec. 2022 However, after noticing a billboard ad about organ donation in Times Square and reading a newspaper article on the subject, his interest was piqued. Terry Baddoo, USA TODAY, 25 Nov. 2022 No, organ donation won’t keep you from having a normal funeral. Detroit Free Press, 13 Oct. 2022 One of those drugs is rapamycin, taken by humans receiving an organ donation. Tom Simonite, WIRED, 13 Oct. 2022 Multiple lawsuits and organ-donation schemes wrap by the 34-minute mark. Darren Franich, EW.com, 13 Oct. 2022 LaMore, who was a veteran and an organ donor, died on Veterans Day, leaving behind his wife of 16 years and their daughter. Maria Pasquini, Peoplemag, 18 Nov. 2022 But his mother had to remain in the hospital and was placed on an organ donor transplant list due to the severity of her liver damage, officials said. Emily Sweeney, BostonGlobe.com, 20 Oct. 2022 One bears the name of the organization Donate Life, a nod to Bowsman’s decision to be an organ donor. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, 30 Sep. 2022 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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near organ

Cite this Entry

“Organ.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/organ. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

organ

noun

or·​gan ˈȯr-gən How to pronounce organ (audio)
1
a
: a keyboard musical instrument in which sets of pipes are sounded by compressed air
b
: an electronic keyboard musical instrument by which sounds like those of an organ are made
2
: a part (as a kidney or leaf) of a person, plant, or animal that consists of cells and tissues and is specialized to do a particular task compare system sense 1b
3
: a way of getting something done
courts are organs of government
4
: a publication (as a newspaper or magazine) of a special group

Medical Definition

organ

noun

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

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