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