[ tuhn ]
/ tʌn /


a large cask for holding liquids, especially wine, ale, or beer.
a measure of liquid capacity, usually equivalent to 252 wine gallons.

verb (used with object), tunned, tun·ning.

to put into or store in a tun or tuns.

Origin of tun

before 900; (noun) Middle English tunne, Old English; cognate with Dutch ton, German Tonne (< LG), Old Norse tunna; (v.) late Middle English, derivative of the noun

Definition for tun (2 of 2)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tun

British Dictionary definitions for tun


/ (tʌn) /


a large beer cask
a measure of capacity, usually equal to 252 wine gallons
a cask used during the manufacture of beer

verb tuns, tunning or tunned

(tr) to put into or keep in tuns

Word Origin for tun

Old English tunne; related to Old High German, Old Norse tunna, Medieval Latin tunna
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

Word Origin and History for tun



"large cask," Old English tunne, a general North Sea Germanic word (cf. Old Frisian tunne, Middle Dutch tonne, Old High German tunna, German tonne), also found in Medieval Latin tunna (9c.) and Old French tonne, perhaps from a Celtic source (cf. Middle Irish, Gaelic tunna, Old Irish toun "hide, skin"). Tun-dish (late 14c.) was a funnel made to fit into the bung of a tun.

-- That? said Stephen. -- Is that called a funnel? Is it not a tundish? --
-- What is a tundish? --
--That. The ... the funnel. --
--Is that called a tundish in Ireland? -- asked the dean. -- I never heard the word in my life. --
-- It is called a tundish in Lower Drumcondra -- said Stephen, laughing -- where they speak the best English.--
-- A tundish -- said the dean reflectively. -- That is a most interesting word I must look that word up. Upon my word I must. --
His courtesy of manner rang a little false, and Stephen looked at the English convert with the same eyes as the elder brother in the parable may have turned on the prodigal. [Joyce, "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper