Ba'rrel. n.s. [baril, Welch.]
- A round wooden vessel to be stopped close.
It hath been observed by one of the ancients, that an empty barrel knocked upon with the finger, giveth a diapason to the sound of the like barrel full. Bacon's Nat. History, № 186.
Trembling to approach
The little barrel, which he fears to broach. Dryden's Persius.
- A particular measure in liquids. A barrel of wine is thirty one gallons and a half; of ale, thirty two gallons; of beer, thirty six gallons, and of beer vinegar, thirty four gallons.
- In dry measure. A barrel of Essex butter contains one hundred and six pounds; of Suffolk butter, two hundred and fifty six. A barrel of herrings should contain thirty two gallons wine measure, holding usually a thousand herrings.
Several colleges, instead of limiting their rents to a certain sum, prevailed with their tenants to pay the price of so many barrels of corn, as the market went. Swift.
- Any thing hollow, as the barrel of a gun; that part which holds the shot.
Take the barrel of a long gun perfectly bored, set it upright with the breech upon the ground, and take a bullet exactly fit for it; then if you suck at the mouth of the barrel ever so gently, the bullet will come up so forcibly, that it will hazard the striking out your teeth. Digby on Bodies.
- A cylinder; frequently that cylinder about which any thing is wound.
Your string and bow must be accommodated to your drill; if too weak, it will not carry about the barrel. Moxon's Mechanical Exercises.
- Barrel of the ear, is a cavity behind the tympanum, covered with a fine membrane. Dict.