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[pe-truh-nl] /ˈpɛ trə nl/
a firearm of large caliber, used from the 15th to the 17th century, that fired with its butt resting against the chest.
Origin of petronel
1570-80; < Middle French petrinal, dialectal variant of poitrinal, equivalent to poitrine chest (< Vulgar Latin *pectorīna, noun use of feminine of *pectorīnus of the breast; see pectoral, -ine1) + -al -al1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for petronel
Historical Examples
  • Here, neighbour Security, to the health of Sir petronel, and all his captains.

  • Nay, weep not, good Sin; my petronel is in as good possibility as he.

  • “We will resist them to the last,” said Guy Fawkes, drawing a petronel.

    Guy Fawkes William Harrison Ainsworth
  • Scarcely an instant elapsed before he was beside the squire, and presented a petronel at his head.

    The Lancashire Witches William Harrison Ainsworth
  • petronel, pet′ro-nel, n. a large horse-pistol: a small carbine.

  • It was, it struck me, from a petronel, or some small piece of ordnance such as merchantmen carried in those days.

    Hurricane Hurry W.H.G. Kingston
  • He sprang up, striking the table with the palm of his hand until it sounded like the shot of a petronel.

    The Golden Dog William Kirby
  • This done, he planted himself in front of the panel, and with a petronel in each hand, menaced his opponents.

    Guy Fawkes William Harrison Ainsworth
  • Catesby replied by drawing a petronel, and firing it in the supposed direction of the speaker.

    Guy Fawkes William Harrison Ainsworth
  • “Your own is not worth half the sum,” rejoined Catesby; and levelling the petronel, he shot him dead.

    Guy Fawkes William Harrison Ainsworth
British Dictionary definitions for petronel


a firearm of large calibre used in the 16th and early 17th centuries, esp by cavalry soldiers
Word Origin
C16: from French, literally: of the breast, from poitrine breast, from Latin pectus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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