Share this entry
barrel organ Syllabification: bar·rel or·gan
Pronunciation: /ˈberəl ˈˌôrɡən/

Definition of barrel organ in English:


A mechanical musical instrument from which predetermined music is produced by turning a handle, played, especially in former times, by street musicians.
Example sentences
  • A barrel organ was in the street below playing ‘In the Sweet Bye and Bye,’ and one by one, the passengers took up the hymn.
  • An alternative was the barrel organ, usually a small chamber organ for which the church could buy a selection of pinned barrels with the most popular hymn tunes of the day ready set.
  • It is a stringed instrument, usually placed flat on the knee, and plucked somewhat like a guitar; it has been described as sounding something like a cross between a guitar and a barrel organ.
Definition of barrel organ in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources