[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

Examples from the Web for pinocle

Historical Examples of pinocle

  • He rose to his feet to join the pinocle players in the dining room.

  • The game of pinocle was frequently halted for recriminations.

    The Huntress

    Hulbert Footner

  • "Four aces, and pinocle," announced Mr. Gooch with grim satisfaction.

  • Sometimes the proposed excursion was a pinocle party or a visit to the theatre, but the dénouement was always the same.

  • Martha said she didn't play bridge and upon Annie's timid suggestion of pinocle, said she had never heard of it.

    The Butterfly House

    Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

British Dictionary definitions for pinocle


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 pinocle



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