[pee-nuhk-uh l, -nok-]


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, pi·noc·le.

Origin of pinochle

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for pinochle

poker, roulette, bridge, lottery, bingo, canasta, gin, lotto, pinochle, twenty-one

Examples from the Web for pinochle

Contemporary Examples of pinochle

Historical Examples of pinochle

  • 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.


    Sinclair Lewis

British Dictionary definitions for pinochle


penuchle, penuckle or pinocle


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 for pinochle

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

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