A roundvessel or cask, of greater length than breadth, and bulging in the middle, made of staves bound with hoops, and having flat ends or heads. Sometimes applied to a similar cylindrical container made of metal, usually called a drum.
The quantity which constitutes a full barrel: the volume or weight this represents varies by local law and custom.
From Middle English barel, from Anglo-Norman baril, Old French baril, bareil, of uncertain origin. An attempt to link baril to Old French barre (compare Medieval Latin barra) via assumed Vulgar Latin *barrīculum meets the phonological requirement, but fails to connect the word semantically. The alternate connection to Frankish *baril, *beril or Gothic 𐌱𐌴𐍂𐌹𐌻𐍃, from Proto-Germanic *barilaz, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰer-, *bʰrē-, is more plausible as it connects not only the form of the word but also the sense; equivalent to bear + -le. Compare also Old High German biril, Luxembourgish Bärel, Bierel, Old Norse berill, Old English byrla. More at bear.
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