American English

Definition of barrel noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

     

    barrel

     noun
    noun
    NAmE//ˈbærəl//
     
     
    jump to other results
  1. 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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Idioms
    a barrel of laughs (often ironic)
     
    jump to other results
    very amusing; a lot of fun Life hasn't exactly been a barrel of laughs lately.
    be like shooting fish in a barrel (informal)
     
    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!
    lock, stock, and barrel
     
    jump to other results
    including everything He sold the business lock, stock, and barrel.
    (get/have somebody) over a barrel (informal)
     
    jump 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.
    scrape (the bottom of) the barrel (disapproving)
     
    jump to other results
    to have to use whatever things or people you can get, because there is not much choice available
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: barrel