- barrel [bar′əl, ber′əl]n.[ME barel < OFr baril < ML barillus < ?]1. a large, wooden, cylindrical container with flat, circular ends and sides that bulge outward, made usually of staves bound together with hoops2. the capacity or contents of a standard barrel, esp. as a unit of measure (in the U.S., 311/ 2 gal, but for petroleum, 42 gal and for fermented beverages, 31 gal; in Gr. Brit., 36 imperial gal; in dry measure, various amounts, as 196 lb of flour, 200 lb of pork or fish, etc.)3. a revolving cylinder, wound with a chain or rope [the barrel of a windlass]4. any hollow or solid cylinder [the barrel of a fountain pen]5. the tube of a gun, through which the projectile is fired6. the cylindrical case containing the mainspring of a clock or watch7. the piston chamber of a pump8. the quill of a feather9. Informal a great amount [a barrel of fun]vt.barreled or barrelled, barreling or barrellingto put or pack in a barrel or barrelsvi.☆ Slang to go at high speedto go at high speed——————☆ have someone over a barrelSlang to have someone completely at one's mercy, esp. financially
English World dictionary. V. Neufeldt. 2014.