Definition of pistol noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈpɪstl//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɪstl//
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a small gun that you can hold and fire with one hand an automatic pistol a starting pistol (= used to signal the start of a race) see also water pistol See related entries: Weapons Word Originmid 16th cent.: from obsolete French pistole, from German Pistole, from Czech pišt'ala, of which the original meaning was ‘whistle’, hence ‘a firearm’ by the resemblance in shape.Extra examples He drew his pistol, aimed and fired. He was robbed in his hotel at pistol point. There were two of them, both carrying pistols. runners waiting for the starting pistol Sharpe took the loaded pistol from his belt, cocked it, and laid it beside him. The assassin shot the two men with a 9mm automatic pistol. The official fired a starting pistol to begin the race.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pistol