- a musical instrument in which air from a bellows is admitted to a set of pipes by means of pins inserted into a revolving barrel; hand organ.
Origin of barrel organ
First recorded in 1765–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for barrel organ
The thought now haunted the youth that he could make a barrel-organ, and he determined to do so.Self-Help
He loves music, and some day I shall buy him a barrel-organ to play to him always.'Chatterbox, 1906
Other evidences of the origin of the barrel-organ are not wanting.
Not that he was partial to any other music but a barrel-organ; on the contrary, hated it.A House to Let
Old Treffy loved his barrel-organ; it was the one comfort of his life.Christie's Old Organ
Mrs. O. F. Walton
- an instrument consisting of a cylinder turned by a handle and having pins on it that interrupt the air flow to certain pipes, thereby playing any of a number of tunesSee also hurdy-gurdy
- a similar instrument in which the projections on a rotating barrel pluck a set of strings
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012