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

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
Because vital organs and part of the nervous system may not be fully developed, a premature birth may place the baby at risk. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 6 Feb. 2024 Even low levels, which were once considered safe, have been associated with cardiovascular diseases, reproductive problems, irreversible organ damage, lowered IQ, and behavioral disorders. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 1 Feb. 2024 As the largest organ on our body, the skin extends far past just the face. India Espy-Jones, Essence, 1 Feb. 2024 According to Park, major sources of toxic heavy metals include cigarette smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke and consuming contaminated foods such as animal organ meats and root and leafy vegetables. Michelle Pugle, Health, 31 Jan. 2024 Animals use eyes — a complex organ of lenses and photoreceptors — to gain a detailed picture of the world around them, including the direction of light. Quanta Magazine, 31 Jan. 2024 Sepsis is a deadly reaction to infection, one that can cause runaway inflammation and a cascade of organ damage. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Jan. 2024 Then, at about 19 weeks, a routine ultrasound revealed devastating problems: Amniotic fluid supporting the fetus had drained; its lungs, heart, brain and other organs were not developing. Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Washington Post, 25 Jan. 2024 Scott plays a range of instruments across What an Enormous Room, including guitar, bass, programmed drums, organ, synthesizer, and piano. Madison Bloom, Pitchfork, 26 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'organ.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 21 Feb. 2024.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!