verb (used with object), bar·reled, bar·rel·ing or (especially British) bar·relled, bar·rel·ling.
verb (used without object), bar·reled, bar·rel·ing or (especially British) bar·relled, bar·rel·ling.
Words nearby barrel
Idioms for barrel
Origin of barrel
OTHER WORDS FROM barrelhalf-bar·rel, nounun·bar·reled, adjectiveun·bar·relled, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for over a barrel
verb -rels, -relling or -relled or US -rels, -reling or -reled
Word Origin for barrel
Idioms and Phrases with over a barrel (1 of 2)
In a weak or difficult position, as in Once the competitors found a flaw in our product, they had us over a barrel. This slangy expression, first recorded in 1938, supposedly alludes to reviving a drowning victim by placing the body head down over a barrel and rolling it back and forth, so as to empty the lungs of water. The expression survives, although happily the practice does not.
Idioms and Phrases with over a barrel (2 of 2)
see both barrels; bottom of the barrel; cash on the barrelhead; like shooting fish in a barrel; lock, stock, and barrel; more fun than a barrel of monkeys; over a barrel; pork barrel; rotten apple (spoils the barrel).