American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A large cylindrical container, usually made of staves bound together with hoops, with a flat top and bottom of equal diameter.
- n. The quantity that a barrel with a given or standard capacity will hold.
- n. Any of various units of volume or capacity. In the U.S. Customary System it varies, as a liquid measure, from 31 to 42 gallons (120 to 159 liters) as established by law or usage. See Table at measurement.
- n. The cylindrical part or hollow shaft of any of various mechanisms, as:
- n. The metal, cylindrical part of a firearm through which the bullet travels.
- n. A cylinder that contains a movable piston.
- n. The drum of a capstan.
- n. The cylinder within the mechanism of a timepiece that contains the mainspring.
- n. The trunk of a quadruped animal, such as a horse or cow.
- n. Informal A large quantity: a barrel of fun.
- n. Slang An act or instance of moving rapidly, often recklessly, in a motor vehicle.
- adj. Likened to a barrel, as in shape: a barrel chest; barrel hips.
- v. To put or pack in a barrel.
- v. Slang To move at a high speed or rate of progress: "That the European Union barreled ahead was not surprising” ( Richard W. Stevenson).
- idiom. barrel Granting, giving, or requesting no credit: paid cash on the barrel for the car.
- idiom. over a barrel In a very awkward position from which extrication is difficult: During the negotiations the opposing faction had us over a barrel.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A vessel or cask of a cylindrical form, generally bulging in the middle, usually made of wooden staves bound together with hoops, and having flat parallel heads.
- n. As a measure of capacity, the quantity of anything, liquid or solid, which a barrel should contain. In English metrology there were four principal kinds of barrels: the wine-barrel of 31½ wine gallons; the London ale-barrel of 32 beer gallons; the country ale- and beer-barrel of 34 beer gallons; and the London beer-barrel of 36 beer gallons. The wine-barrel was legalized in the reign of Richard III., the others under Henry VIII. Under George III. the barrel of ale or beer for town and country was made 36 gallons. Oil, spirits, tar, and pork were measured by the wine-barrel; vinegar, by the barrel of 34 gallons. A barrel of eels or herrings contained 30 gallons by a statute of Henry VI., but by another of Edward IV. this was made 42 gallons. Salmon and spruce beer were also measured by barrels of 42 gallons. A barrel of beef, wet codfish, or honey contained 32 wine gallons; but honey was sometimes sold by barrels of 42 gallons of 12 pounds each. By a statute of George III., a barrel of fish was made 38 wine gallons; but a barrel of salt pilchards or mackerel measured 50 gallons. The barrel of apples, coal, or nuts contained 3 Winchester bushels, each of 8 gallons, dry measure. The barrel of anchovies contained 16 pounds; of gunpowder, 100 pounds; of raisins, 1 hundredweight; of candles, 120 pounds; of barilla, potash, or butter, 2 hundredweight (but only 106 pounds of Essex butter, and 156 of Sussex); the barrel of soap, 256 pounds. A barrel of plates, by a statute of Charles II., contained 300 pounds. There were besides a great variety of other barrels in Scotland and Ireland. In England the barrel is no longer a legal measure. In the United States the barrel in liquid measure is commonly 31½ gallons, and for solid substances it is generally a unit of weight, a barrel of flour, for example, being 196 pounds, and a barrel of beef or pork 200 pounds. In Maine a barrel of fish is by law 200 pounds. In Louisiana a barrel in dry measure is 3¼ bushels. The bushels vary in different States. On the continent of Europe, previous to the introduction of the metric system, there were many barrels. In each state of Italy the barile for wine was a little smaller than that for oil; they were about 30 to 60 liters. The barril of Normandy was about 60 Paris pintes. The baral of Montpellier was 25⅜ liters; the barrallon of Barcelona,
liters; the baril of Riga, 137¾ liters. The barrique was commonly larger than the baril. The abbreviation is bbl., pl. bbls.
- n. The contents of a barrel: sometimes, like bottle, used to signify intoxicating drink.
- n. The money (especially when the sum is large) supplied by a candidate in a political campaign, for campaign expenses, but especially for corrupt purposes: hence, a barrel campaign is one in which money is lavishly employed to bribe voters: in this sense often written and pronounced bar'l (bärl), in humorous imitation of vulgar speech.
- n. Anything resembling a barrel; a drum or cylinder. In particular— The drum or roller in a crane, about which the rope or chain winds.
- To put or pack in a barrel or barrels: as, to barrel beef, pork, or fish.
- n. In mining, a vessel by which water is lifted by engine or windlass from a sinking-shaft.
- n. countable A round vessel or cask, of greater length than breadth, and bulging in the middle, made of staves bound with hoops, and having flat ends or heads. Sometimes applied to a similar cylindrical container made of metal, usually called a drum.
- n. The quantity which constitutes a full barrel. This varies for different articles and also in different places for the same article, being regulated by custom or by law. A barrel of wine is 31 1/2 gallons; a barrel of flour is 196 pounds; of beer 31 gallons; of ale 32 gallons; of crude oil 42 gallons.
- n. A solid drum, or a hollow cylinder or case;
- n. A metallic tube, as of a gun, from which a projectile is discharged.
- n. archaic A tube.
- n. zoology The hollow basal part of a feather.
- n. music The part of a clarinet which connects the mouthpiece and upper joint, and looks rather like a barrel (1).
- n. surfing A wave that breaks with a hollow compartment.
- n. US A waste receptacle.
- n. The ribs and belly of a horse or pony.
- v. transitive To put or to pack in a barrel or barrels.
- v. intransitive To move quickly or in an uncontrolled manner.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A round vessel or cask, of greater length than breadth, and bulging in the middle, made of staves bound with hoops, and having flat ends or heads. Sometimes applied to a similar cylindrical container made of metal, usually called a
- n. The quantity which constitutes a full barrel. This varies for different articles and also in different places for the same article, being regulated by custom or by law. A barrel of wine is 311/2 gallons; a barrel of flour is 196 pounds.
- n. A solid drum, or a hollow cylinder or case.
- n. A metallic tube, as of a gun, from which a projectile is discharged.
- n. obsolete A jar.
- n. (Zoöl.) The hollow basal part of a feather.
- v. To put or to pack in a barrel or barrels.
- n. a tube through which a bullet travels when a gun is fired
- n. any of various units of capacity
- n. a cylindrical container that holds liquids
- v. put in barrels
- n. the quantity that a barrel (of any size) will hold
- n. a bulging cylindrical shape; hollow with flat ends
- From Middle English barrell, from Anglo-Norman baril, Old French baril, bareil ("barrel"), of uncertain origin. An attempt to link baril to Old French barre ("bar, bolt") (compare Medieval Latin barra ("bar, rod")) via assumed Vulgar Latin *barrīculum meets the phonological requirement, but fails to connect the word semantically. The alternate connection to Frankish *baril, *beril or Gothic 𐌱𐌴𐍂𐌹𐌻𐍃 (berils, "container for transport"), from Proto-Germanic *barilaz (“barrel, jug, container”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰer-, *bʰrē- (“to carry, transport”), is more plausible as it connects not only the form of the word but also the sense. Compare also Old High German biril ("jug, large pot"), Luxembourgish Bärel, Bierel ("jug, pot"), Old Norse berill ("barrel for liquids"), Old English byrla ("barrel of a horse, trunk, body"). More at bear. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English barel, from Old French baril. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The 21 months this wine spent in barrel is much more apparent, almost overwhelming at this stage in the wine's development.”
“The main barrel is made from metal, and the handle and stock is mostly card, dense card with a layer of corrugated.”
“The term barrel of oil equivalent ( "boe") may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation.”
“Note that when the term barrel of oil equivalent (boe) is used in this news release, it may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation.”
“A bullet lodged in the barrel is a disaster waiting for the naive, to 'shoot it out'.”
“The inside of this barrel is as beautiful as Ms. Natalie Portman, shown at left.”
“Not only does Dave shoot off hand through his chronograph, he has discovered the fact that warm air rises and the open hole in the end of your barrel is a quick escape mechanism ... a lot of things that some people assume are common sense are beyond the grasp of others.”
“I was wondering how deep the bottom of the barrel is the GOP is scraping.”
“I presume here that the spiral fluting on the barrel is the key behind the reduced rate of temperature rise, rather than the structure/composition of the barrel steel itself, but I could be wrong.”
“Yes | No | Report from craig curtis wrote 3 years 31 weeks ago thats right kj but youve got to read between the lines here. the barrel is the foundation of accuracy without that, all those hours loading your favorite bullets will be for naught! by the way you better have that trigger replaced.”
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