View synonyms for organ


[ awr-guhn ]


  1. Also called pipe organ. a musical instrument consisting of one or more sets of pipes sounded by means of compressed air, played by means of one or more keyboards, and capable of producing a wide range of musical effects.
  2. any of various similar instruments, as a reed organ or an electronic organ.
  3. Biology. a grouping of tissues into a distinct structure, as a heart or kidney in animals or a leaf or stamen in plants, that performs a specialized task.
  4. a newspaper, magazine, or other means of communicating information, thoughts, or opinions, especially in behalf of some organization, political group, or the like.

    Synonyms: channel, instrument, journal, publication

  5. an instrument or means, as of action or performance:

    This committee will be the chief organ of administration.

  6. Archaic. any of various musical instruments, especially wind, instruments.


/ ˈɔːɡən /


    1. Also calledpipe organ a large complex musical keyboard instrument in which sound is produced by means of a number of pipes arranged in sets or stops, supplied with air from a bellows. The largest instruments possess three or more manuals and one pedal keyboard and have the greatest range of any instrument
    2. ( as modifier )

      organ loft

      organ pipe

      organ stop

  1. any instrument, such as a harmonium, in which sound is produced in this way See also reed organ harmonica
  2. a fully differentiated structural and functional unit, such as a kidney or a root, in an animal or plant
  3. an agency or medium of communication, esp a periodical issued by a specialist group or party
  4. an instrument with which something is done or accomplished
  5. a euphemistic word for penis
“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


/ ôrgən /

  1. A distinct part of an organism that performs one or more specialized functions. Examples of organs are the eyes, ears, lungs, and heart of an animal, and the roots, stems, and leaves of a plant.


  1. Part of a living thing, distinct from the other parts, that is adapted for a specific function. Organs are made up of tissues and are grouped into systems , such as the digestive system .

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The brain , liver , and skin are organs.
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Other Words From

  • inter·organ adjective
  • multi·organ adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of organ1

before 1000; Middle English: musical instrument, pipe organ, organ of the body, tool (< Medieval Latin, Latin organum mechanical device, instrument) < Greek órganon implement, tool, bodily organ, musical instrument, akin to érgon work
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Word History and Origins

Origin of organ1

C13: from Old French organe, from Latin organum implement, from Greek organon tool; compare Greek ergein to work
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Example Sentences

They would like someone’s brain-cell data safeguarded, just as our organs are.

The recipient is still one person, but their new organ has different genes.

In our bodies, we have organs — structures that have specific jobs.

Yul Kwon currently works at Google, but he’s been a lawyer, political organizer, government regulator, organ donation activist, and Survivor winner.

That process includes a mix of chemical activities that supports life in cells, organs and whole organisms.

The brain, also an organ, is particularly sensitive to the loss of oxygen.

Indeed, the body would ultimately have rejected the organ transplant.

But in Jersey City the fight goes on, with fabulous organ accompaniment.

As the film starts, the organ sinks back down below the stage where the musician can be heard and not seen.

To easily switch between sounds, the organ is outfitted with dozens of preset buttons like the kind found in old radios.

But he forgot the stagnant town, the bald-headed man at the club window, the organ and "The Manola."

In the first case “I” stands for the person using it, and in the last case it means the organ of sight.

The primal rigidity of the straight line yields later on to the freedom of an organ.

Of course there had been no organ in this church before, or the worthy deacon might have known more about it.

The flute, a component part of the organ, is one of the most ancient of musical instruments.