barrel

/bar"euhl/, n., v., barreled, barreling or (esp. Brit.) barrelled, barrelling.
n.
1. a cylindrical wooden container with slightly bulging sides made of staves hooped together, and with flat, parallel ends.
2. the quantity that such a vessel of some standard size can hold: for most liquids, 311/2 U.S. gallons (119 L); for petroleum, 42 U.S. gallons (159 L); for dry materials, 105 U.S. dry quarts (115 L). Abbr.: bbl
3. any large quantity: a barrel of fun.
4. any container, case, or part similar to a wooden barrel in form.
5. Ordn. the tube of a gun.
6. Mach. the chamber of a pump in which the piston works.
7. a drum turning on a shaft, as in a weight-driven clock.
8. Horol. the cylindrical case in a watch or clock within which the mainspring is coiled.
9. Ornith. Obs. a calamus or quill.
10. the trunk of a quadruped, esp. of a horse, cow, etc.
11. Naut. the main portion of a capstan, about which the rope winds, between the drumhead at the top and the pawl rim at the bottom.
12. a rotating horizontal cylinder in which manufactured objects are coated or polished by tumbling in a suitable substance.
13. any structure having the form of a barrel vault.
14. Also called throat. Auto. a passageway in a carburetor that has the shape of a Venturi tube.
15. over a barrel, Informal. in a helpless, weak, or awkward position; unable to act: They really had us over a barrel when they foreclosed the mortgage.
v.t.
16. to put or pack in a barrel or barrels.
17. to finish (metal parts) by tumbling in a barrel.
18. Informal. to force to go or proceed at high speed: He barreled his car through the dense traffic.
v.i.
19. Informal. to travel or drive very fast: to barrel along the highway.
[1250-1300; ME barell < AF baril, OF barril < VL *barriculum, equiv. to *barric(a), perh. deriv. of LL barra BAR1 + L -ulum -ULE; cf. ML (ca. 800) barriclus small cask]

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      large, bulging cylindrical container of sturdy construction traditionally made from wooden staves and wooden or metal hoops. The term is also a unit of volume measure, specifically 31 gallons of a fermented or distilled beverage, or 42 gallons of a petroleum product. According to the 1st-century-AD Roman historian Pliny the Elder, the ancient craft of barrel making, also called cooperage, was invented by the inhabitants of the Alpine valleys.

      Slack barrels, made to hold dry products, may be made of pine or softwood and do not require precise workmanship. Smaller versions, usually called kegs, long were used to contain heavy bulk products such as nails. Tight barrels, made to hold liquids, must be constructed carefully of high-grade woods, such as white oak, with bungholes for filling and emptying.

      Wood for barrel staves and headings is usually air-dried for at least a year, then kiln-dried for 10 to 20 days before being cut and planed to the needed size and finish. A crucial operation is jointing of the edges of the staves and giving them the proper bilge (middle bulge) so that the joints will be tight and the circumference uniform. The bulge gives the barrel added resistance to internal pressure.

      The most complex part of the operation is called raising the barrel. Staves are set vertically into a head truss ring, and a temporary hoop is placed over the other end. In this arrangement, the staves are passed through a steam tunnel to soften them for drawing into final shape and then dried again. Whiskey barrels are charred on the inside at this point, so that they will develop flavour in the whiskey as it ages. Beer, formerly stored and shipped in wooden barrels, now is placed in one-piece metal barrels. A machine called a crozer trims the ends of the staves and cuts the croze, the groove near the end of the stave where the head pieces fit. The temporary end rings are pulled off, the head pieces fitted, and permanent head hoops put in place. The temporary bilge hoops are removed, and the rest of the permanent hoops are put on.

      Tight barrels have been superseded for the most part by metal drums and bulk-tank transportation, and slack barrels by paper-shipping sacks, corrugated paperboard cartons, and fibreboard drums.

      unit of both liquid and dry measure in the British Imperial (British Imperial System) and United States Customary systems, ranging from 31.5 to 42 gallons for liquids and fixed at 7,056 cubic inches (105 dry quarts, or 115.63 litres) for most fruits, vegetables, and other dry commodities. The cranberry barrel, however, measures 5,826 cubic inches. In liquid measure, the wine barrel of 126 quarts (31.5 gallons, or 119.24 litres) and the ale and beer barrel of 144 quarts (36 gallons, or 136.27 litres) probably were defined by the traditional size of the actual wooden barrels used in these trades. In the United States a 40-gallon barrel for proof spirits has been legally recognized, and federal taxes on fermented liquors are calculated on a barrel of 31 gallons. A petroleum barrel of 42 gallons may have become standard in the American Southwest because casks of this capacity were readily available. Dry-weight barrels include the barrel of 200 pounds for fish, beef, and pork and that of 376 pounds for cement, among others.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Barrel — Bar rel (b[a^]r r[e^]l), n.[OE. barel, F. baril, prob. fr. barre bar. Cf. {Barricade}.] 1. A round vessel or cask, of greater length than breadth, and bulging in the middle, made of staves bound with hoops, and having flat ends or heads; as, a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • barrel — bar‧rel [ˈbærəl] noun [countable] 1. TRANSPORT a large round container with a flat top and bottom, used for storing and carrying liquids such as oil and beer: • barrels of beer 2. an amount of a liquid contained in a barrel, used as unit of… …   Financial and business terms

  • 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 hoops 2. the capacity or contents of …   English World dictionary

  • Barrel 30 — (Веррес,Италия) Категория отеля: Адрес: Via Jean Baptiste Barrel 30, 11029 Веррес, Италия …   Каталог отелей

  • barrel — (n.) c.1300, from O.Fr. baril (12c.) barrel, cask, vat, with cognates in all Romance languages (Cf. It. barile, Sp. barril), but origin uncertain; perhaps from Gaulish, perhaps somehow related to BAR (Cf. bar) (n.1). Meaning metal tube of a gun… …   Etymology dictionary

  • barrel — ► NOUN 1) a large cylindrical container bulging out in the middle and with flat ends. 2) a measure of capacity for oil and beer (36 imperial gallons for beer and 35 for oil). 3) a cylindrical tube forming part of an object such as a gun or a pen …   English terms dictionary

  • Barrel 38 — (Турин,Италия) Категория отеля: Адрес: Via Nicola Fabrizi 38, 10143 Турин, Италия …   Каталог отелей

  • Barrel — [Aufbauwortschatz (Rating 1500 3200)] Bsp.: • 1 Barrel = ca. 30 40 Gallonen • 1 Barrel Öl = 159 l …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • Barrel — Bar rel (b[a^]r r[e^]l), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Barreled} ( r[e^]ld), or {Barrelled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Barreling}, or {Barrelling}.] To put or to pack in a barrel or barrels. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Barrel — Barrel, in England Flüssigkeitsmaß = 2 Kilderkins = 4 Firkins = 36 Imperialgallons = 163,5645 l; in den Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika Gewicht, bei gesalzenen Fischen und Pökelfleisch = 90,7 kg netto, bei Mehl = 88,9 kg netto, bei Harz 127… …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik

  • Barrel — (engl., spr. bärrĕl), engl. Biermaß = 36 Imperialgallons = 163,56 l; Gewichtsbegriff verschiedener Größe für Weizenmehl = engl. 196 Pfund ( = 88,9 kg), Butter = 224, Seife = 256, Pottasche = 200 engl. Pfund …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

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