Definition of organ grinder in English:

organ grinder

Line breaks: organ grind¦er


  • 1A street musician who plays a barrel organ.
    More example sentences
    • The melodies are recommended to street organ-grinders, if any still exist.
    • I remember with a peculiar vividness an organ-grinder who came around with a monkey, and the accuracy with which the monkey could catch a ball.
    • The funhouse atmosphere will also include loonie hotdogs, free popcorn, face-painting, buskers, an organ-grinder, and roving improv performers.
  • 1.1A person in control of another: I’m not just a monkey dancing to the organ grinder’s tune
    [with reference to the tradition of an organ grinder's keeping a monkey trained to collect money]
    More example sentences
    • Trimble remarked: ‘I don't want to talk to this monkey. Where's the organ-grinder?’
    • After all, why bother choosing the monkey when you can own the organ-grinder?
    • He had originally intended to stand against the Defence Secretary, but was persuaded to, in his words, ‘take on the organ-grinder rather than the monkey’.

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