Definition of organ in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈôrɡən/


1 Biology A part of an organism that is typically self-contained and has a specific vital function, such as the heart or liver in humans.
Example sentences
  • An abscess on an internal organ such as the liver or brain may be diagnosed by X-ray or scanning.
  • In only specific organs is a biopsy recommended without there being an identifiable lump.
  • If you want to have specific organs donated, will doctors remove anything else?
body part, biological structure
1.1A department or organization that performs a specified function: the central organs of administration and business
More example sentences
  • Is it a state of affairs where free speech is suppressed by the organs of the State?
  • These organs of the global economy are likewise members of the United Nations family.
  • The Fascist Party and its organs were dissolved amid popular celebration.
1.2A medium of communication, especially a newspaper or periodical that serves a particular organization, political party, etc. an article in the official organ of the Salvation Army
More example sentences
  • It was ridiculous to see in this country how some of the leading media organs campaigned for press censorship.
  • The party organ had been in the news these days for all the wrong reasons.
  • He was an editorial writer for the Central Daily News, the chief organ of the ruling Nationalist Party.
1.3(Used euphemistically) the penis.
Example sentences
  • I guess there might have been some serious feelings of inadequacy by some of the male viewers who came to see the sizeable organ eh?
  • It seems MacManus was inspired to write the book because of his observations on Greek sculpture and their lack of accuracy when it came to the male organ.
  • According to Van Damme, the dog represents the uncircumcised boy, the feline is the circumcised individual, and the coiled snake is the male organ.
1.4 archaic A region of the brain formerly held to be the seat of a particular faculty.
Example sentences
  • Brain organs which were used got bigger and those which were not used shrunk, causing the skull to rise and fall with organ development.
2 (also pipe organ) A large musical instrument having rows of tuned pipes sounded by compressed air, and played using one or more keyboards to produce a wide range of musical effects. The pipes are generally arranged in ranks of a particular type, each controlled by a stop, and often into larger sets linked to separate keyboards.
Example sentences
  • The sounds of the organ and the choir used to mesmerize the faithful in those days.
  • The mass is sung by a vocal ensemble of six solo voices doubled by six instruments with organ.
  • The organ sounded from the front of the church, the rich tones bringing me out of my reverie.
2.1An electronic keyboard instrument that produces sounds similar to those of a pipe organ. See also reed organ.
Example sentences
  • It is a song of hope and justice. Use percussion and guitars rather than an organ or piano.
  • The atmosphere is created mostly with pianos and organs, less so the strings of the past few albums.
  • Somehow an organ and a drum kit can sound like Venus' doors swooping wide.


Late Old English, via Latin from Greek organon 'tool, instrument, sense organ', reinforced in Middle English by Old French organe.

  • The word organ came via Latin from Greek organon ‘tool, instrument, sense organ’, also found in organize (Late Middle English). Organ was first adopted in the ‘musical instrument’ sense. Organic (Late Middle English) has been used meaning ‘produced without the use of artificial chemicals’ from the mid 19th century.

Words that rhyme with organ

Glamorgan, gorgon, Morgan, morgen

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: or·gan

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