- 1a large round container, usually made of wood or metal, with flat ends and, usually, curved sides a beer/wine barrel see also rain barrel
- 2 the contents of or the amount contained in a barrel. An oil barrel contains 42 gallons (158.9 l) They got through a barrel (= 31 gallons or 117.3 l) of beer. Oil prices fell to $9 a barrel.
- 3the part of a gun like a tube through which the bullets are fired Tom found himself looking down the barrel of a gun. The barrel was aimed directly at me. He fired one barrel and then fired again. Idioms
very amusing; a lot of fun Life hasn't exactly been a barrel of laughs lately.
a barrel of laughs (often ironic)jump to other results
used to emphasize how easy it is to do something What do you mean you can't do it? It'll be like shooting fish in a barrel!
be like shooting fish in a barrel (informal)jump to other results
including everything He sold the business lock, stock, and barrel.
lock, stock, and barreljump to other results
(to put/have someone) in a situation in which they must accept or do what you want They've got us over a barrel. Either we agree to their terms or we lose the money.
(get/have somebody) over a barrel (informal)jump to other results
to have to use whatever things or people you can get, because there is not much choice available
scrape (the bottom of) the barrel (disapproving)jump to other results