Meaning of BARREL in English


I. ˈbarəl also ˈber- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English barell, barel, from Middle French baril

1. : a round bulging vessel of greater length than breadth that is usually made of staves bound with hoops and has flat ends of equal diameter


a. : a barrel with its contents

b. : the contents of a barrel

c. : the amount contained in a barrel

d. : any of various units of capacity or volume: as

(1) : a United States unit of liquid measure equal to 31 1/2 gallons ; also : a unit of measure for fermented beverages equal to 31 gallons

(2) : a unit of measure for petroleum equal to 42 gallons

(3) : a unit of dry measure (as for fruits or vegetables) equal to 105 dry quarts or about 3.9 bushels ; also : a measure for cranberries equal to about 87 quarts or about 2.7 bushels — abbr. bbl.

e. : a great quantity : lot

have a barrel of fun

3. : a drum or cylinder or similar round part: as

a. : the body of a windlass or capstan about which the cable winds

b. : the tube of a gun from which the projectile is discharged

c. : the revolving cylinder of a barrel organ

d. : the flat cylindrical metal box that encloses the mainspring of a timepiece

e. : the upper inside part of a bell

f. : the large cylindrical part of a locomotive boiler containing the tubes

g. : the core of various cylindrical devices (as a spool or bobbin) on which yarn or cloth is wound

h. : the cylindrical part of a clarinet connecting the mouthpiece with the first joint

i. : the part of a fountain pen or of a pencil containing the writing fluid or the lead

j. : a cylindrical or tapering housing containing the optical components of a photographic-lens system and the iris diaphragm usually equipped with a flange on the outside for mounting on a camera

k. : a revolving hollow cylinder or drum within which metal may be cleaned by tumbling with abrasive material or may be dissolved from ore by mixing with a leaching solution

l. : the cylinder in which a piston travels

m. : the fuel outlet from the carburetor on a gasoline engine

4. : the trunk of a quadruped especially of a domestic animal — see cow illustration

II. verb

( barreled or barrelled ; barreled or barrelled ; barreling or barrelling ; barrels )

Etymology: Middle English barellen, from barell, n.

transitive verb

1. : to put or pack in a barrel

2. : to clean or otherwise treat (metal) in a barrel


a. : to transport at a high speed

barrels heavy loads up steep hills

b. : to cause (as an automobile) to travel fast

barreled the convertible for a distant roadhouse

4. : to fit (a firearm) with a barrel

intransitive verb

: to travel at a high speed

barreling along in excess of the speed limit

III. noun

: a supply or collection of similar things

people graduating from college who are at the lowest part of the barrel — Albert Shanker

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.