[ob-uh l]


a silver coin of ancient Greece, the sixth part of a drachma.

Origin of obol

First recorded in 1660–70; see origin at obolus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for obol

Historical Examples of obol

  • Thy aim was lettuces; they are worth an obol, they are not worth a talent.

  • Shall the favourite of the gods—shall the guest of Hypatia—earn his breakfast, while I have an obol to share with him?


    Charles Kingsley

  • Six years ago to-day it was I came to Rome, with barely an obol of ready money, to make my fortune by my wits.

    A Friend of Caesar

    William Stearns Davis

  • The obol referred to is the small coin placed between the lips of the dead to pay the toll to the ferryman of Hades.

Word Origin and History for obol

ancient Greek small coin and weight, 1660s, from Latin obolus, from Greek obolos, identical with obelos "a spit, needle." From the original shape.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper