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[pee-nuhk-uh l, -nok-] /ˈpi nʌk əl, -nɒk-/
a popular card game played by two, three, or four persons, with a 48-card deck.
a meld of the queen of spades and the jack of diamonds in this game.
Also, penuchle, penuckle, pinocle.
Origin of pinochle
Swiss German
Swiss French
1860-65, Americanism; < Swiss German Binokel, Binoggel < Swiss French binocle literally, pince-nez (see binocle1), probably adopted as synonym of the less current French besicles spectacles, folk-etymological alteration of bezigue bezique Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pinochle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He's no sport at all, except maybe when it comes to pinochle.

    Torchy and Vee Sewell Ford
  • Dirty trick to break up a pinochle game in weather like this.

    Cue for Quiet Thomas L. Sherred
  • "Got change for a dollar, an' I'll settle that pinochle debt," offered the sergeant.

    The Drums Of Jeopardy Harold MacGrath
  • It was like him to forget all about the herder and the promise of pinochle that night.

    The Uphill Climb

    B. M. Bower
  • The house was peaceful, that evening, and he enjoyed a game of pinochle with his wife.

    Babbitt Sinclair Lewis
  • Euchre doesn't seem the same without a barful of people, and pinochle is not the game that Stein is good at.

    Cue for Quiet Thomas L. Sherred
  • In five minutes they had got together a deck and a pile of chips and were shirt-sleeving it around a game of pinochle.

    Americans All Various
  • Wilkins had proposed a pinochle game, and he and Jordan sat playing in the control room.

    The Stutterer R.R. Merliss
  • A few guests played pool or billiards, bridge, rummy, pinochle.

    The Haciendas of Mexico Paul Alexander Bartlett
British Dictionary definitions for pinochle


a card game for two to four players similar to bezique
the combination of queen of spades and jack of diamonds in this game
Word Origin
C19: of unknown origin
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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Word Origin and History for pinochle

also pinocle, 1864, Peaknuckle, of uncertain origin, perhaps from Swiss dialect Binokel (German), binocle (French), from French binocle "pince-nez" (17c.), from Medieval Latin binoculus "binoculars" (see binocular). Taken as a synonym for bésigue "bezique," the card game, and wrongly identified with besicles "spectacles," probably because the game is played with a double deck. Pinochle was popularized in U.S. late 1800s by German immigrants.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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