Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: baril


1 noun
bar‧rel1 S3 [countable]
1DT a large curved container with a flat top and bottom, made of wood or metal, and used for storing beer, wine etc:
The wine is aged in oak barrels.
barrel of
barrels of beer
2 a unit of measurement for oil, equal to 159 litres
barrel of
two million barrels of oil
3PMW the part of a gun that the bullets are fired through

have somebody over a barrel

to put someone in a situation in which they are forced to accept or do what you want:
The manager had us over a barrel - either we work on a Saturday or we lose our jobs.

be a barrel of laughs

[often in negatives] to be very enjoyable:
Life is not exactly a barrel of laughs at the moment.
pork barrel

; ➔ scrape (the bottom of) the barrel

at scrape1 (5)

; ➔ lock, stock, and barrel

at lock2 (3)

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