a British unit of capacity usually equal to a quarter of a barrel.
a small wooden vessel or tub for butter, lard, etc.

Nearby words

  1. firing order,
  2. firing party,
  3. firing pin,
  4. firing range,
  5. firing squad,
  6. firm,
  7. firmament,
  8. firmamental,
  9. firman,
  10. firmer chisel

Origin of firkin

1400–50; late Middle English ferdkyn, firdekyn, equivalent to ferde (variant of ferthe fourth) + -kin -kin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for firkin

British Dictionary definitions for firkin



a small wooden barrel or similar container
British a unit of capacity equal to nine gallons

Word Origin for firkin

C14 fir, from Middle Dutch vierde fourth + -kin

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

Word Origin and History for firkin



"small cask, fourth part of a barrel," late 14c., apparently from Middle Dutch *vierdekijn, diminutive of vierde, literally "fourth, fourth part" (see fourth).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper