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hand organ

a portable barrel organ played by means of a crank turned by hand.
Origin of hand organ
An Americanism dating back to 1790-1800 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hand organ
Historical Examples
  • Across the street, on corner number two, was an Italian with a hand organ.

    Owen Clancy's Happy Trail Burt L. Standish
  • Then, all of a sudden, off in the woods there sounded the music of a hand organ.

    Jacko and Jumpo Kinkytail Howard R. Garis
  • Well, I just wish you could have heard Jacko play that hand organ.

    Jacko and Jumpo Kinkytail Howard R. Garis
  • Outside I saw an old man grinding a hand organ, but there were no children to dance around him on the sidewalk.

    Crimes of Charity Konrad Bercovici
  • "Maybe he thinks it's a hand organ," suggested Bunny Brown, and the people in the store laughed.

  • Incidentally it might be stated that she loved the cheap and florid music of the hand organ itself.

    Fanny Herself Edna Ferber
  • The skillery-scallery creature tried to eat the hand organ, and he tried to play it, but he could do neither.

    Uncle Wiggily's Travels

    Howard R. Garis
  • “We might go round with a hand organ,” suggested Oh-Pshaw in desperation.

  • Do you remember how you used to shake my teeth out for following the hand organ men around town?

    Living Up to Billy Elizabeth Cooper
  • The hand organ is so contrived that the revolution of the barrel gives motion to the bellows.

British Dictionary definitions for hand organ

hand organ

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
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