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 James Lamkin fired seven rounds from his handgun toward Deputy Evan Kennedy and Deputy Anthony Ramos returned fire with eight shots from his pistol, Hummel said. oregonlive, "Deschutes County deputy justified in shooting at drunken driver who fired first at colleague, DA says," 11 Jan. 2020 Police released body camera footage from Samayoa’s chest shortly after the shooting that showed the officer drawing his pistol from the passenger’s seat as the cruiser was still moving. Evan Sernoffsky, SFChronicle.com, "Will SF’s new DA criminally charge a newly sworn rookie cop who fatally shot an unarmed man?," 6 Jan. 2020 For those who love going to the range and shooting their pistols and rifles, there’s nothing more fun than shooting reactive steel targets. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Great Gifts for Target Shooters," 21 Nov. 2019 Within seconds, a volunteer security guard near the back of the West Freeway Church of Christ pulled out his Sig Sauer pistol and fired back. Dave Montgomery, New York Times, "Inside a Texas Church, Guns, Bibles and a Spirited Firearms Debate," 30 Dec. 2019 Kiess, who had come out of her apartment, then ran back inside to get her 9 mm Taurus pistol. Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post, "A man and a woman held each other at gunpoint in a Lone Tree apartment complex. He shot first — and was justified, DA says.," 22 Nov. 2019 Meanwhile, Sanfilippo approached the car on foot and began hitting Harwell, the driver, with the butt of his own 9-millimeter pistol. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A West Allis man who fatally shot a teenager during a botched gun sale gets 6 years in prison," 25 Oct. 2019 For the first time in four months of major pro-democracy protests, police drew their pistols and fired live rounds – shooting and seriously injuring one 18-year-old protester. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, "In now-or-never mindset, Hong Kong protests keep up pressure," 1 Oct. 2019 The assailant who killed nine people in Dayton had attached a 100-round drum magazine to his AR-15-style pistol, according to the city’s police chief. Fortune, "These Are the Ideas in Play in (Another) U.S. Gun Debate," 9 Sep. 2019

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

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pistol.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pistol. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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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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Comments on pistol

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