Definition of barrelhouse in English:


Syllabification: bar·rel·house
Pronunciation: /ˈbarəlˌhous


  • 1North American A cheap or disreputable bar.
    More example sentences
    • There are some eye-opening glimpses into the business of recording, musical discoveries with amplification, sharecropping life, and the get-down funkiness of the juke joints and barrelhouses.
    • As an itinerant musician in his early life, Pickens played in barrelhouses across the southern states.
    • He soon began to work in barrelhouses and jukes in Helena, Arkansas often working with pianist Lee Green.
  • 2 [usually as modifier] An unrestrained and unsophisticated style of jazz music.
    More example sentences
    • Gelb stays away from jazz or barrelhouse blues, preferring to stay in the classically influenced realm with a few diversions into Kurt Weill territory and that of movie soundtracks.
    • The results are a delirious jumpcut odyssey where fragments of styles collide and splinter apart; ambient drones, barrelhouse piano, funk, jazz, even a snatch of ‘Roll Out the Barrel’ played on an accordion.
    • Of course round these parts we all love Mr Holland, with his cheeky east-end banter and barrelhouse joanna-thumping style.


late 19th century: so named because of the rows of barrels along the walls of such a bar.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody