[ pis-tl ]
/ ˈpɪs tl /


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.

to shoot with a pistol.

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


pis·tol·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for pistol

British Dictionary definitions for pistol

/ (ˈpɪstəl) /


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

verb -tols, -tolling or -tolled or US -tols, -toling or -toled

(tr) to shoot with a pistol

Word Origin for 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