• synonyms

hand organ

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  1. a portable barrel organ played by means of a crank turned by hand.

Origin of hand organ

An Americanism dating back to 1790–1800
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hand organ

Historical Examples

  • The violin and piano are excellent, but on some accounts the hand-organ is the best of all.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862


  • And all he needs is a hand-organ and a monkey to be an Italian.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Blossom never saw a steam-car nor a city, nor—nor heard a hand-organ!

    Judith Lynn

    Annie Hamilton Donnell

  • The girls waved their handkerchiefs, and Fritz Davis played his hand-organ.

  • Even the hand-organ could not rob the intermezzo of its charm for the public!

British Dictionary definitions for hand organ

hand organ

  1. another name for barrel organ
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