der·​rin·​ger ˈder-ən-jər How to pronounce derringer (audio)
: a short-barreled pocket pistol

Examples of derringer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This victim’s vision seems weird and fraudulent when Priscilla casually color-coordinates derringer pistols with designer dresses. Armond White, National Review, 3 Nov. 2023 As on the frontier, when predators never knew which woman might have a derringer in her petticoat, no one today knows when they will be recorded breaking the law. Sebastian Junger, National Review, 13 July 2023 In 1976, after wrecking his Rolls-Royce in a drunk-driving accident, he was arrested, intoxicated, with a loaded derringer on the grounds of Elvis Presley’s Graceland estate. Chris Morris, Variety, 28 Oct. 2022 Police found a silver derringer-style gun in his backpack at the time of his arrest. oregonlive, 21 June 2022 There's also a replica of the derringer pistol John Wilkes Booth used to assassinate Lincoln. Ariana Garcia, Chron, 13 May 2022 Wagrowski also testified that police found two guns -- a .22-caliber Kel-tec and a small derringer -- at the Crumbley home, aside from the one allegedly used in the shooting. Nadine El-Bawab, ABC News, 8 Feb. 2022 Police arrested a Sandusky man, 29, who was carrying a Ruger .45 caliber pistol with three magazines containing 22 rounds, along with a loaded High Standard derringer. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, 23 Jan. 2022 He was arrested carrying a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun and a .22-caliber derringer pistol in his pockets. Michael Biesecker, Star Tribune, 11 Jan. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'derringer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Henry Deringer †1869 American inventor

First Known Use

1853, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of derringer was in 1853

Dictionary Entries Near derringer

Cite this Entry

“Derringer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on derringer

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!