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.
- A large cylindrical container, usually made of staves bound together with hoops, with a flat top and bottom of equal diameter.
- The quantity that a barrel with a given or standard capacity will hold.
- 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.
- The cylindrical part or hollow shaft of any of various mechanisms, as:
- The metal, cylindrical part of a firearm through which the bullet travels.
- A cylinder that contains a movable piston.
- The drum of a capstan.
- The cylinder within the mechanism of a timepiece that contains the mainspring.
- The trunk of a quadruped animal, such as a horse or cow.
- Informal A large quantity: a barrel of fun.
- Slang An act or instance of moving rapidly, often recklessly, in a motor vehicle.
- Likened to a barrel, as in shape: a barrel chest; barrel hips.
- To put or pack in a barrel.
- Slang To move at a high speed or rate of progress: "That the European Union barreled ahead was not surprising” ( Richard W. Stevenson).
- barrel Granting, giving, or requesting no credit: paid cash on the barrel for the car.
- over a barrel In a very awkward position from which extrication is difficult: During the negotiations the opposing faction had us over a barrel.