barrels


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bar·rel

 (băr′əl)
n.
1. A large cylindrical container, usually made of staves bound together with hoops, with a flat top and bottom of equal diameter.
2. The quantity that a barrel with a given or standard capacity will hold.
3. Abbr. bar. or bbl. or bl. Any of various units of volume or capacity. In the US Customary System it varies, as a liquid measure, from 31 to 42 gallons (117 to 159 liters) as established by law or usage.
4. A cylindrical or hollow part, especially:
a. The thicker portion of a baseball bat, from which the most powerful hits are struck.
b. The cylindrical part of a firearm through which the bullet travels.
c. A cylinder that contains a movable piston.
d. The drum of a capstan.
e. The cylinder within the mechanism of a timepiece that contains the mainspring.
5. The trunk of a quadruped animal, such as a horse or cow.
6. The tubular space inside a wave when it is breaking.
7. Informal A large quantity: a barrel of fun.
8. Slang An act or instance of moving rapidly, often recklessly, in a motor vehicle.
adj.
Resembling or similar to a barrel, as in shape: a barrel chest; barrel hips.
v. bar·reled, bar·rel·ing, bar·rels or bar·relled or bar·rel·ling
v.tr.
To put or pack in a barrel.
v.intr. Informal
To move or progress rapidly: "That the European Union barreled ahead was not surprising" (Richard W. Stevenson).
Idioms:
on the barrel/barrelhead
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.

[Middle English barel, from Old French baril.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.barrels - the amount that many barrels might holdbarrels - the amount that many barrels might hold
large indefinite amount, large indefinite quantity - an indefinite quantity that is above the average in size or magnitude
References in classic literature ?
They were small barrels and I thought that Erik must have selected them of that size to facilitate their carriage to the house on the lake.
That day he dined with the marshal, at the same board on the barrels.
This log-cabin had a loft, where we boys slept, and in the loft were stored in barrels the books that had now begun to overflow the bookcase.
Morgan, who had stopped and was intently watching the agitated chaparral, said nothing, but had cocked both barrels of his gun and was holding it in readiness to aim.
Oom Sam explained to the King that, owing to the sentiments of affection and admiration with which the white men regarded him, the three barrels should be made into four, whereupon his Majesty bluntly pronounced the audience at an end and waddled off into his Imperial abode.
16 Cases Hams 25 Spring Mattresses 2 Barrels Flour 2 Hair ditto 22 Barrels Whiskey Bedding for same 1 Barrel Sugar 2 Mosquito-nets 1 Keg Lemons 29 Tents 2,000 Cigars Scientific Instruments 1 Barrel Pies 97 Ice-axes 1 Ton of Pemmican 5 Cases Dynamite 143 Pair Crutches 7 Cans Nitroglycerin 2 Barrels Arnica 22 40-foot Ladders 1 Bale of Lint 2 Miles of Rope 27 Kegs Paregoric 154 Umbrellas
Assuming the blubber to be the skin of the whale; then, when this skin, as in the case of a very large Sperm Whale, will yield the bulk of one hundred barrels of oil; and, when it is considered that, in quantity, or rather weight, that oil, in its expressed state, is only three fourths, and not the entire substance of the coat; some idea may hence be had of the enormousness of that animated mass, a mere part of whose mere integument yields such a lake of liquid as that.
All round the room big barrels stood against the walls, fastened at the bottom so they wouldn't tumble with the rolling of the ship; and above the barrels, pewter jugs of all sizes hung from wooden pegs.
Aramis led Porthos into the last but one compartment, and showed him, in a hollow of the rocky wall, a barrel of powder weighing from seventy to eighty pounds, to which he had just attached a fuse.
The innocent little peasant was unanimously sentenced to death, and was to be rolled into the water, in a barrel pierced full of holes.
The Prince, too, had got lost like the rest, and wandered on for a time until he came to a little clearing in the forest not far from the sea, where he saw a woman sitting on a chair and a big barrel standing beside her.
Double grog was going on the least excuse; there was duff on odd days, as, for instance, if the squire heard it was any man's birthday, and always a barrel of apples standing broached in the waist for anyone to help himself that had a fancy.