obol

noun
\ ˈä-bəl How to pronounce obol (audio) , ˈō- How to pronounce obol (audio) \

Definition of obol

: an ancient Greek coin or weight equal to ¹/₆ drachma

Examples of obol in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Charon’s obol is a term for a coin, typically placed in the mouth of a dead person before burial. Fox News, "Ancient remains of over 100 children with coins in their mouths discovered in mass grave," 30 June 2020 The coins are called obols of the dead or Charon’s obol. Fox News, "Ancient remains of over 100 children with coins in their mouths discovered in mass grave," 30 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'obol.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of obol

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for obol

borrowed from Latin obolus, borrowed from Greek obolós, obelós — more at obelus

Note: The word is attested once in Old English, but there is no continuity between this occurrence and later learned use in Modern English.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about obol

Time Traveler for obol

Time Traveler

The first known use of obol was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for obol

Cite this Entry

“Obol.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obol. Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

Comments on obol

What made you want to look up obol? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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