pis·​tol | \ ˈpi-stᵊl How to pronounce pistol (audio) \

Definition of pistol

1 : a handgun whose chamber is integral with the barrel broadly : handgun
2 : a notably sharp, spirited, or energetic person

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Other Words from pistol

pistol transitive verb

Examples of pistol in a Sentence

a real pistol, she dances rings around the other performers
Recent Examples on the Web When police arrived at the apartment, Sanchez stepped outside with the pistol still in hand, according to the affidavit. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Eagle River resident shot man to death in Wasilla apartment and pointed gun at friends, charges say," 14 Jan. 2021 Officers went to the beach in central Seaside about 1:09 a.m. and found two boys with a pistol, police said. oregonlive, "Portland-area boys ages 14, 15 and 16 arrested with pistols after gunshots on Seaside beach, police say," 11 Jan. 2021 At some point during the argument, Paul, who was also armed with a 9mm pistol, moved away from the truck and drew his gun, according to authorities. Michelle Hunter | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Bystander, suspected gunman killed in shootout at River Ridge apartment, JPSO says," 27 Nov. 2020 Carr attempted to run away but Kidd shot him once in the back with the pistol. Jennie Key, The Enquirer, "Kenton County man pleads guilty in Covington shooting," 21 Nov. 2020 Two men were arrested Saturday for breaking into a 64-year-old man’s house in early November and hitting him with a pistol before holding him at gunpoint and robbing him, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. Katie Rice, orlandosentinel.com, "2 arrested in armed home invasion in St. Cloud, deputies say," 19 Nov. 2020 Rivas opened the front door and was seen by police with a pistol in his hand. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, "Fatal Huntsville police shooting of armed man justifiable, Madison County DA says," 18 Nov. 2020 Roof murdered nine people with a pistol during Bible study at an AME church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. Steve Almasy And Lindsay Benson, CNN, "Georgia teen apologizes for plot to kill black churchgoers and is sentenced to time in juvenile detention," 22 Oct. 2020 Watkins accused the prosecutors of tampering with the pistol by assembling it in a way that it could be fired. Paul Best, Fox News, "McCloskeys indicted on gun charges stemming from standoff at St Louis mansion," 6 Oct. 2020

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

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First Known Use of pistol

circa 1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pistol

Middle French pistole, from German, from Middle High German pischulle, from Czech píšt'ala, literally, pipe, fife; akin to Czech pištět to squeak

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Time Traveler for pistol

Time Traveler

The first known use of pistol was circa 1560

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Statistics for pistol

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pistol.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pistol. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for pistol


How to pronounce pistol (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pistol

: a small gun made to be aimed and fired with one hand
US, informal : a person who has a lot of energy and spirit


pis·​tol | \ ˈpi-stᵊl How to pronounce pistol (audio) \

Kids Definition of pistol

: a small gun made to be aimed and fired with one hand

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