• synonyms

organ grinder

  1. an itinerant street musician who earns a living by playing a hand organ or hurdy-gurdy.
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Origin of organ grinder

First recorded in 1800–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for organ-grinder

Historical Examples of organ-grinder

  • But what if the organ-grinder should really prove to be dead?

    Harper's Young People, October 5, 1880


  • The organ-grinder, after his day's crime, plays his accursed machine for love.

    Actions and Reactions

    Rudyard Kipling

  • The organ-grinder at the gate fenced his beast with one arm as Jimmy-talked.

    Actions and Reactions

    Rudyard Kipling

  • In the centre of it all stands the organ-grinder, swarthy and black-haired.

  • He, with as much ear for music as an organ-grinder's monkey!

    The Belovd Vagabond

    William J. Locke

British Dictionary definitions for organ-grinder


  1. a street musician playing a hand organ for money
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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