[ awr-guhn ]
See synonyms for: organorgans on

  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.

  1. 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.

  2. a newspaper, magazine, or other means of communicating information, thoughts, or opinions, especially in behalf of some organization, political group, or the like.

  3. an instrument or means, as of action or performance: This committee will be the chief organ of administration.

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

Origin of organ

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 érgonwork

Other words for organ

Other words from organ

  • in·ter·or·gan, adjective
  • mul·ti·or·gan, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use organ in a sentence

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

    Bella Donna | Robert Hichens
  • In the first case “I” stands for the person using it, and in the last case it means the organ of sight.

    Assimilative Memory | Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
  • The primal rigidity of the straight line yields later on to the freedom of an organ.

    Children's Ways | James Sully
  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for organ


/ (ˈɔːɡən) /

    • Also called: pipe 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

    • (as modifier): organ pipe; organ stop; organ loft

  1. any instrument, such as a harmonium, in which sound is produced in this way: See also reed organ, harmonica

  1. a fully differentiated structural and functional unit, such as a kidney or a root, in an animal or plant

  2. an agency or medium of communication, esp a periodical issued by a specialist group or party

  3. an instrument with which something is done or accomplished

  4. a euphemistic word for penis

Origin of organ

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

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

Scientific definitions for organ


[ 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.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for organ


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.

Notes for organ

The brain, liver, and skin are organs.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.