or der·in·ger

[ der-in-jer ]

  1. an early short-barreled pocket pistol.

Origin of derringer

1850–55, Americanism; named after Henry Deringer, mid-19th-century American gunsmith who invented it

Words Nearby derringer Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use derringer in a sentence

  • “Leigh Anne showed [Bullock] her cute little pearl-handled derringer,” Hancock says.

    Sandra's $200 Million Year | Kim Masters | December 2, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • The pistol you hold in your hand is a derringer, I presume, loaded.

  • Jack says, 'You lie, G-d d-mn you,' and draws his derringer.

  • He took from an inner pocket of his coat a derringer with silver mountings, laid it meaningly upon the bar.

    Port O' Gold | Louis John Stellman
  • We were jumped not ten miles out of town, and before any one could draw a derringer every man of us was covered.

    Foes in Ambush | Charles King
  • Le Gaire stood sideways, the muzzle of his derringer covering me, his left hand supporting his elbow.

    Love Under Fire | Randall Parrish

British Dictionary definitions for derringer



/ (ˈdɛrɪndʒə) /

  1. a short-barrelled pocket pistol of large calibre

Origin of derringer

C19: named after Henry Deringer, American gunsmith who invented it

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