[ pis-tl ]
See synonyms for pistol on Thesaurus.com
  1. a short firearm intended to be held and fired with one hand.

verb (used with object),pis·toled, pis·tol·ing or (especially British) pis·tolled, pis·tol·ling.
  1. to shoot with a pistol.

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Origin of pistol

1560–70; <Middle French pistole<German, earlier pitschal, pitschole, petsole<Czech píšt’ala literally, pipe, fife, whistle (presumably a slang term for a type of light harquebus employed during the Hussite wars), akin to pištět to squeak, peep

Other words from pistol

  • pis·tol·like, adjective

Words Nearby pistol

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pistol in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pistol


/ (ˈpɪstəl) /

  1. a short-barrelled handgun

  2. hold a pistol to a person's head to threaten a person in order to force him to do what one wants

verb-tols, -tolling or -tolled or US -tols, -toling or -toled
  1. (tr) to shoot with a pistol

Origin of pistol

C16: from French pistole, from German, from Czech pišt'ala pistol, pipe; related to Russian pischal shepherd's pipes

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