a cylindrical wooden container with slightly bulging sides made of staves hooped together, and with flat, parallel ends.
the quantity that such a vessel of some standard size can hold: for most liquids, 31½ U.S. gallons (119 L); for petroleum, 42 U.S. gallons (159 L); for dry materials, 105 U.S. dry quarts (115 L). Abbreviation: bbl
any large quantity: a barrel of fun.
any container, case, or part similar to a wooden barrel in form.
Ordnance. the tube of a gun.
Machinery. the chamber of a pump in which the piston works.
a drum turning on a shaft, as in a weight-driven clock.
Horology. the cylindrical case in a watch or clock within which the mainspring is coiled.
Ornithology Obsolete. a calamus or quill.
the trunk of a quadruped, especially of a horse, cow, etc.
Nautical. the main portion of a capstan, about which the rope winds, between the drumhead at the top and the pawl rim at the bottom.
a rotating horizontal cylinder in which manufactured objects are coated or polished by tumbling in a suitable substance.
any structure having the form of a barrel vault.
Also called throat. Automotive. a passageway in a carburetor that has the shape of a Venturi tube.
to put or pack in a barrel or barrels.
to finish (metal parts) by tumbling in a barrel.
Informal. to force to go or proceed at high speed: He barreled his car through the dense traffic.
Informal. to travel or drive very fast: to barrel along the highway.
Idioms about barrel
over a barrel, Informal. in a helpless, weak, or awkward position; unable to act: They really had us over a barrel when they foreclosed the mortgage.
- half-barrel, noun
- un·bar·reled, adjective
- un·bar·relled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use barrel in a sentence
Upon harvest, the bags of mycelium were extracted in large barrels full of alcohol to produce the cure for the bees.The Fungal Evangelist Who Would Save the Bees - Issue 90: Something Green | Merlin Sheldrake | September 23, 2020 | Nautilus
Both Rystad Energy and Wood Mackenzie, the Edinburgh-based energy consultancy, put the break-even price for existing oil-sands production at around $45 per barrel, with some projects able to keep the lights on in the $20 to $30 range.After the boom: Canada’s oil capital faces an uncertain future | kdunn6 | September 21, 2020 | Fortune
Since those averages are currently only recorded through June 2020, revenue calculations for 2020 averaged oil barrel prices for the first six months of the year.Oil Companies Are Profiting From Illegal Spills. And California Lets Them. | by Janet Wilson, The Desert Sun, and Lylla Younes, ProPublica | September 18, 2020 | ProPublica
The tubs are made of a strong, lightweight plastic, much like the standard food barrels you get from outfitters, only smaller.How (and Why) to Execute the Perfect Canoe Portage | Alex Hutchinson | September 9, 2020 | Outside Online
Typewriter factories were converted to produce rifle barrels, while those that couldn’t went on making typewriters exclusively for the government.
That clear spirit is what goes into every barrel of The Macallan.
And for Scotch in particular—which can spend decades in the barrel—wood is critical to the finished spirit.
Their legendary barrel aging program is unique, even among Scottish distilleries, for its range of natural color expressions.Why Natural Color Is So Crucial To Understanding A Whisky’s Flavors | | December 10, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Gelhaus proceeded to fire eight shots at Gonzalez, striking him seven times, when he said Gonzalez raised the barrel.Worse Than Eric Garner: Cops Who Got Away With Killing Autistic Men and Little Girls | Emily Shire | December 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
On his knees, he pulls out a gun and places the barrel inside his mouth.The Walking Dead’s ‘Self Help’: A Grim Show Displays Its Comedy Streak, and A Major Reveal | Melissa Leon | November 10, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
One hundred to the right barrel—nothing left for the second barrel!Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
It wasn't any scruple of mercy, for Hicks was as cold-blooded a brute as ever glanced down a gun-barrel.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
A Laplander who cannot get Tobacco sucks chips of a barrel or pieces of anything else which has contained it.Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce | E. R. Billings.
In the fall the barrel of his rifle had been so covered with dead leaves and dust that he could not take aim.Hunting the Lions | R.M. Ballantyne
The second barrel was discharged with no better result, except that a splinter of its horn was knocked off.Hunting the Lions | R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for barrel
a cylindrical container usually bulging outwards in the middle and held together by metal hoops; cask
Also called: barrelful the amount that a barrel can hold
a unit of capacity used in brewing, equal to 36 Imperial gallons
a unit of capacity used in the oil and other industries, normally equal to 42 US gallons or 35 Imperial gallons
a thing or part shaped like a barrel, esp a tubular part of a machine
the tube through which the projectile of a firearm is discharged
horology the cylindrical drum in a watch or clock that is rotated by the mainspring
the trunk of a four-legged animal: the barrel of a horse
the quill of a feather
informal a large measure; a great deal (esp in the phrases barrel of fun, barrel of laughs)
Australian informal the hollow inner side of a wave
over a barrel informal powerless
scrape the barrel informal to be forced to use one's last and weakest resource
(tr) to put into a barrel or barrels
(intr ; foll by along, in, etc) informal (intr) to travel or move very fast
Australian informal to ride on the inside of a wave
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with barrel
see both barrels; bottom of the barrel; cash on the barrelhead; like shooting fish in a barrel; lock, stock, and barrel; more fun than a barrel of monkeys; over a barrel; pork barrel; rotten apple (spoils the barrel).
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.