Definition of organ in English:



  • 1A part of an organism which is typically self-contained and has a specific vital function.

    ‘the internal organs’
    • ‘Currently, there are almost 85,000 people waiting in this country for vital organ transplants.’
    • ‘‘Specific types of cancer often metastasize to specific other organs,’ he said.’
    • ‘Dr Gruer said it looks likely that the infection produces a toxin which enters the circulation and damages vital organs, including the heart.’
    • ‘The examination of the internal organs is usually done under general anaesthetic by a gynaecologist.’
    • ‘Patients must be carefully monitored for fluid balance and covert internal damage to vital organs.’
    • ‘Once the tumor extends to or invades local organs, radiation therapy becomes the mainstay of treatment.’
    • ‘This section reviews the literature regarding experimental models of colloid use, with particular focus on the function of specific organs.’
    • ‘Zinc helps organize cells into healthy tissues and organs so your baby has what it needs during the first weeks of pregnancy when vital organs are being developed.’
    • ‘Whereas we are now getting used, and will increasingly get used to transplants of other vital organs below the neck.’
    • ‘Atherosclerosis can also diminish blood flow to other vital organs, including your intestines or kidneys.’
    • ‘If you want to have specific organs donated, will doctors remove anything else?’
    • ‘In only specific organs is a biopsy recommended without there being an identifiable lump.’
    • ‘Dehydration can impair the function of vital organs like the kidneys, brain, and heart.’
    • ‘The concept that autologous bone marrow stem cells target a specific organ and replace diseased cells is particularly attractive.’
    • ‘Atherosclerosis can affect the arteries of the heart, brain, kidneys, other vital organs, and the arms and legs.’
    • ‘One must recognize that not all compounds are equally toxic to all parts of a living system because the toxic actions of many compounds are manifested in specific organs.’
    • ‘An abscess on an internal organ such as the liver or brain may be diagnosed by X-ray or scanning.’
    • ‘It has also been noticed that the brain tends to function better in a cooler environment whereas organs like the heart function better at normal body temperature.’
    • ‘This procedure uses artificial extracorporeal circulation to provide oxygenated blood to vital organs while the heart is stopped.’
    • ‘Number two; the bones protect vital internal organs, such as the heart, the lungs, and the brain.’
    part of the body, body part, biological structure
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Used euphemistically to refer to the penis.
      ‘the male organ’
      • ‘According to Van Damme, the dog represents the uncircumcised boy, the feline is the circumcised individual, and the coiled snake is the male organ.’
      • ‘And in her armchair there is a design of Ru Yi, an L-shaped jade ornament originally symbolizing the male organ.’
      • ‘I guess there might have been some serious feelings of inadequacy by some of the male viewers who came to see the sizeable organ eh?’
      • ‘It seems MacManus was inspired to write the book because of his observations on Greek sculpture and their lack of accuracy when it came to the male organ.’
    2. 1.2archaic A region of the brain formerly held to be the seat of a particular faculty.
      • ‘Brain organs which were used got bigger and those which were not used shrunk, causing the skull to rise and fall with organ development.’
  • 2A large musical instrument having rows of pipes supplied with air from bellows (now usually electrically powered), and played using a keyboard or by an automatic mechanism. The pipes are generally arranged in ranks of a particular type, each controlled by a stop, and often into larger sets linked to separate keyboards.

    See also reed organ
    • ‘The mass is sung by a vocal ensemble of six solo voices doubled by six instruments with organ.’
    • ‘It was thrilling to hear it being translated into the big sound of the organ.’
    • ‘The organ sounded great and the singing was lovely.’
    • ‘Similarly, in ‘Darska,’ Rimbaud overlays a stuttering beat with the rising chords of a church organ and voices.’
    • ‘Suddenly, the organ stopped, leaving the stonewalls to echo the last few notes.’
    • ‘Instruments other than the organ were not to be used without the bishop's special permission.’
    • ‘The sounds of the organ and the choir used to mesmerize the faithful in those days.’
    • ‘The musical mainstay was the organ, played by James Vivian, who didn't stop for the two and three quarter hours of the performance, except during the recitatives.’
    • ‘In England, the sound of the organ, choirboys and a peal of bells instantly springs to mind.’
    • ‘The organ sounded from the front of the church, the rich tones bringing me out of my reverie.’
    • ‘Other standard stops are similar to those of the organ, including 16 and 4 ranks which add lower and higher octaves.’
    • ‘The regal sounds of the organ at Westminster Abbey.’
    • ‘The church was quiet except for the mournful organ and the rustling sound adults made at times like this.’
    • ‘Well of course the very early organs were all mechanical and there was no electricity because they didn't have any.’
    • ‘To replace the fine organ with an electronic keyboard is bad enough, but to move the altar and remove the pews is quite unthinkable.’
    • ‘He sings sweetly behind a curtain of organs and electronic keyboards.’
    • ‘As Leonora stepped into the church, her entrance was heralded by a startling blast of the church organ, an instrument which had originally been the pride of one of Westing's smaller picture palaces.’
    • ‘Twenty-seven voices and an organ are all that are needed to convey the joy and the mystery of the Christmas message.’
    • ‘When organists want to make a massive sound, the full organ, they pull out ‘all the stops,’ allowing virtually every pipe to speak.’
    • ‘The poor starving little church mice had chewed their way through the bellows of the church organ.’
    1. 2.1 An electronic keyboard instrument that produces sounds similar to those of a pipe organ.
      • ‘I also did some detours through the organ world, but piano remained the most important instrument for me.’
      • ‘The atmosphere is created mostly with pianos and organs, less so the strings of the past few albums.’
      • ‘Somehow an organ and a drum kit can sound like Venus' doors swooping wide.’
      • ‘His melancholy voice and poetic talk of God and anarchists is compelling, especially with the retro-sounding organ, harmonica and horns.’
      • ‘One way to help add real analog punch to your software electric piano, organ or even synthesizer is with an instrument preamp.’
      • ‘Knitting Needles and Bicycle Bells builds distinctive walls of instrumentation, mostly from organs, pianos, and guitars.’
      • ‘Clinic combines standard rock instruments with a moody, vintage organ creating a sound that's difficult to describe from a standard rock setup.’
      • ‘New keyboardist Per Wiberg is the band's secret weapon, his piano, organ, and mellotron giving the album a lush, spooky atmosphere.’
      • ‘It is a song of hope and justice. Use percussion and guitars rather than an organ or piano.’
      • ‘There are electronic flourishes all over this record, alongside organs, cellos and pianos.’
      • ‘My dad entertained Callum with an array of musical instruments: a guitar, piano, organ, harmonica, and a tin can.’
      • ‘Cornets replaced trumpets, and soft instruments, including the organ, were played in the intervals.’
      • ‘So that was the deal I agreed to do, and I agreed to do the score and have a musical background, because United Film had a piano, an organ, and a celeste.’
      • ‘However, Leslie, was unimpressed with the organ's sound quality in the confined spaces of his home.’
      • ‘Sandström uses a large orchestra, including many percussion instruments and an organ.’
      • ‘Drums, strange sounds and tones, in addition to the saxes or organs.’
      • ‘He moved from piano, to pedal organ, through several guitars, harmonica; other instruments too.’
      • ‘The dozen instrumentalists are busy with recorder, flute, viols, theorbo, harpsichord and organ.’
      • ‘With the advent of boybands and the use of ever increasing technology in the world of music, one has forgotten the true sound of the guitar accompanied only by the drums and maybe the organ or the piano.’
      • ‘Another chord-playing instrument such as an organ or harpsichord also plays the bass line, but adds the chords above it, which are drawn from and match the music in the lines above.’
  • 3A department or organization that performs a specified function.

    ‘the organs of local government’
    • ‘The Fascist Party and its organs were dissolved amid popular celebration.’
    • ‘The service chiefs are very experienced men who reach the head of major organs of the State after a long career experience.’
    • ‘Is it acceptable that the management of a state company should ignore fundamental organs of the State?’
    • ‘Is it a state of affairs where free speech is suppressed by the organs of the State?’
    • ‘These organs of the global economy are likewise members of the United Nations family.’
    • ‘But over the years this profile has been destroyed and now these critical organs of local government development are mere excess baggage to Government.’
    • ‘He or she must not undermine the primacy of democratic law-making by the organs of government directly or indirectly accountable to the people.’
    • ‘Federal powers or competencies (or whatever term one chooses to use instead) are assumed by organs of government.’
    • ‘This attitudinal change will not just happen, we the people must require it of our leaders, of our organs of government, of private enterprise, and of ourselves.’
    • ‘In that state where all the organs of the state and civil society too have been communalised how can one hope for justice within the state?’
    • ‘They - like the federal and provincial governments - are organs of government over the people.’
    • ‘These organisations and their spokesmen say quite openly that what they are concerned with is the issue of violation of human rights by the organs of the state.’
    • ‘He said there were now criminals in the country who considered themselves more powerful than the organs of the state.’
    • ‘The president, the parliament including all other organs of the state should be subservient to the constitution that would make the country a responsible state.’
    • ‘The Director of Public Prosecutions is independent of the other organs of State in the exercise of his duties.’
    • ‘The media function as organs of the government, disseminating its propaganda line with scant regard for the facts.’
    • ‘On Monday, a High Court judge challenged law enforcement organs to promote and uphold the interests and aspiration of the community.’
    • ‘That is, the citizens of the states, as well as all other organs of government, were to have an equal voice in constitutional matters.’
    • ‘It is precisely those pivotal organs of government on which we would normally rely for consensual, but authoritative, action in a crisis such as now.’
    • ‘The public service pay conflict marks a further step in the trade unions' transformation into organs of government and big business.’
    1. 3.1 A newspaper or periodical which promotes the views of a political party or movement.
      ‘he repositioned the journal as a leading organ of neoconservatism’
      newspaper, paper, journal, periodical, magazine, newsletter, gazette, bulletin, publication, means of communication, mouthpiece, voice, forum, vehicle, medium, channel, instrument, agency
      View synonyms


Late Old English, via Latin from Greek organon ‘tool, instrument, sense organ’, reinforced in Middle English by Old French organe.