Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.
  • transitive v. To put or pack in a barrel.
  • intransitive 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • 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 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. A tube.
  • n. The hollow basal part of a feather.
  • n. The part of a clarinet which connects the mouthpiece and upper joint, and looks rather like a barrel (1).
  • n. A wave that breaks with a hollow compartment.
  • n. A waste receptacle.
  • n. The ribs and belly of a horse or pony.
  • v. To put or to pack in a barrel or barrels.
  • v. To move quickly or in an uncontrolled manner.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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 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 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. A jar.
  • n. The hollow basal part of a feather.
  • transitive v. To put or to pack in a barrel or barrels.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To put or pack in a barrel or barrels: as, to barrel beef, pork, or fish.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • n. In mining, a vessel by which water is lifted by engine or windlass from a sinking-shaft.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • 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

Etymologies

Middle English barel, from Old French baril.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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)

Examples

  • The 21 months this wine spent in barrel is much more apparent, almost overwhelming at this stage in the wine's development.

    Tasting Notes

  • The main barrel is made from metal, and the handle and stock is mostly card, dense card with a layer of corrugated.

    Boing Boing

  • The term barrel of oil equivalent ( "boe") may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation.

    Marketwire - Breaking News Releases

  • 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.

    Marketwire - Breaking News Releases

  • A bullet lodged in the barrel is a disaster waiting for the naive, to 'shoot it out'.

    An Expert Gunsmith on Over-Pressure Rounds and Exploding Handguns

  • The inside of this barrel is as beautiful as Ms. Natalie Portman, shown at left.

    Rifles of Interest: Remington Model 700 Custom Shop AWR II

  • 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.

    Video Blog: Barrel Cooling Done Right

  • I was wondering how deep the bottom of the barrel is the GOP is scraping.

    Republicans warn of rationing for disabled children

  • 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.

    Rifles of Interest, Vol. 1

  • 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.

    The Most Important Part of a Rifle

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Comments

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  • "For Howard, power comes not from the barrel of a gun, as Mao Zedong liked to say, but from a barrel of pork. With a budget surplus of $17.3 billion to splash around in an election year, nothing is too difficult. Or too extravagant."
    - Mike Carlton, 'Big words from the big man of pork barrels, smh.com.au, 25 Aug 2007.

    October 28, 2008

  • Used in the Boston area to refer to a trash can.

    October 15, 2008

  • vb, to move quickly or recklessly in a linear fashion.

    November 22, 2007

  • "A unit of measurement used by brewers in some countries. In Britain, a barrel holds 36 imperial gallons (One imperial gallon equals 4.5 liters), or 1.63 hectoliters. In the United States, a barrel holds 31.5 US gallons (One US gallon = 3.8 liters), or 1.17 hectoliters."
    - Beer Glossary

    October 7, 2007

  • Roll it out.

    September 27, 2007