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
(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 Low economy elements were less nutritious and closer to cartilage and ligaments, while high economy elements were more nutritious and near large muscles or internal organs. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Bad to the bone: Cannibal dinosaurs turned to eating each other in tough times," 27 May 2020 Jani was observed by a team of professionals who ran tests on his brain, organs and blood vessels. Fox News, "Indian yogi who claimed he could live without food or water dead at 90, report says," 27 May 2020 Next, each one moves onto a mechanized, autonomous organ remover, tendon slasher, and finally, the spine splitter. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Covid-19 Makes the Case for More Meatpacking Robots," 25 May 2020 Possible cases include patients up to age 21 who are experiencing a fever, inflammation and a severe illness affecting at least two organs requiring hospitalization. Dallas News, "How does the rare inflammatory condition afflicting children relate to coronavirus?," 24 May 2020 Indiana has seen its first child sickened by a mysterious illness that targets children under the age of 21, can strike multiple organs in the body and is linked to the coronavirus. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, "Indiana gets first case of mysterious coronavirus-linked illness that targets children," 18 May 2020 And the bird’s organ meats find their way into rarefied charcuterie products like pâté and mousse. Saveur Editors, Saveur, "Our All-Time Best Duck Recipes," 18 May 2020 Fat tissue plays a few important roles, from regulating body temperature and producing hormones, to supporting brain health and insulating organs, says Church. Lauren Bedosky,, "Does Muscle Weigh More Than Fat? The Answer's More Complicated Than You May Think," 18 May 2020 The new illness appears to cause severe inflammation of the coronary arteries, with symptoms including sustained fever, gastrointestinal issues and problems with organ function in the liver, kidneys, heart and lungs. Anna Claire Vollers |, al, "Small number of Alabama children have rare condition linked to coronavirus," 14 May 2020

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

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Organ.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for organ


How to pronounce organ- (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for organ

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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