- a short firearm intended to be held and fired with one hand.
- to shoot with a pistol.
Origin of pistol
Examples from the Web for pistol
On October 5, 2013, Wilson pointed a pistol at a postal clerk.
He pointed a pistol at a grocery checkout woman and swiped whatever cash he could into his pockets before booking it.
A call made to police beforehand described Rice as “a guy with a pistol” on a swing set, but said it was “probably fake.”The 14 Teens Killed by Cops Since Michael Brown
November 25, 2014
In Devoted to Death, Chesnut describes a Mexican hitman who has an image of la Santa engraved on the butt of his pistol.America’s Fastest Growing Death Holiday Is From Mexico
November 1, 2014
For all the talk of high-tech military gear, this began like a scene from long ago: two men, one pistol, six shots.Why Won't Obama Go to Ferguson?
August 19, 2014
Katherine handed Austin the pistol which she had taken from Dick's hand.
A moment later, when he was alone, he uncocked the pistol--Dick's pistol.
He leaped toward Garson—would have wrenched the pistol from the other's grasp.
He sprang to the octagonal window, even as Dick took possession of the pistol.
His hand slipped into the pocket where was the pistol, and clutched it.
- a short-barrelled handgun
- hold a pistol to a person's head to threaten a person in order to force him to do what one wants
- (tr) to shoot with a pistol
Word Origin and History for pistol
"small hand-held firearm," 1570s, from Middle French pistole "short firearm" (1566), of uncertain origin, sometimes said to be from German Pistole, from Czech pis'tala "firearm," literally "tube, pipe," from pisteti "to whistle," of imitative origin, related to Russian pischal "shepherd's pipe."
But earlier English form pistolet (1550) is said to be from Middle French pistolet "a small firearm," also "a small dagger," which may be the literal sense; though some connect this word with Italian pistolese, in reference to Pistoia, town in Tuscany noted for gunsmithing. Pistol-whip (v.) is first recorded 1942.