Meaning of pistol in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpɪstl/

See synonyms for pistol

Translate pistol into Spanish


  • 1A small firearm designed to be held in one hand.

    ‘Williams was carrying a loaded air pistol in his pocket.’
    • ‘The business man agreed as he pulled out a laser pistol from his back holster.’
    • ‘Aruna pulled out a small pistol from a shoulder holster.’
    • ‘Miss Dando's killer used a 9mm semi-automatic pistol.’
    • ‘He was then apparently detained by palace staff but drew a 9mm pistol and shot himself in the head.’
    • ‘Historically, the Walther PP was the first commercially successful double-action semiautomatic pistol.’
    • ‘Jay stood back up and pulled out his small emergency laser pistol.’
    • ‘Caine drew his pistol from its holster and leveled its muzzle at the approaching Carey.’
    • ‘There's nowhere to run… but there's a .40 caliber pistol in your hand.’
    • ‘He quickly opened the door to his apartment and ran into it with his .45 caliber pistol in hand.’
    • ‘Taking direct fire, and outnumbered, he pressed forward, firing his M9 pistol at enemy forces.’
    • ‘In his hand he carried a pistol which was pointed at Carter.’
    • ‘In addition, most Rangers had one or more single-shot flintlock pistols of varied design and manufacture.’
    • ‘A figure in the shadows behind a dumpster aimed a Swiss automatic pistol.’
    • ‘She aimed the loaded pistol at the officer who looked up with a startled expression.’
    • ‘My grandmother carried a loaded pistol in her purse.’
    • ‘The glint of the silenced pistol was seen as Timothy drew out the weapon.’
    • ‘Only that and the dull metallic sheen of the flintlock pistol clutched firmly in his hand.’
    • ‘Each vehicle should be assigned an M9 pistol.’
    • ‘Each man had a pistol on his right hip and a shotgun of his back.’
    revolver, gun, handgun, side arm
    View synonyms
  • 2US informal A very energetic or enterprising person.

    • ‘when we first met, he was a pistol, full of ideals and a natural leader’
    • ‘Matilda, who early on threatens to be a real pistol of a character, becomes the stereotypical, eccentric spinster auntie who teaches her charges useful life lessons in between subjecting them to her annoying habits and quirky behavior.’
    • ‘I knew the last surviving daughter as well and she was a pistol, married eight times, a former flapper from the Twenties.’
    • ‘She'd scale short walls. Anything to get out of that place. Not because it was so terrible. But, because she could. She was a pistol.’
    • ‘"He drove his clients crazy but they loved him to death," says his younger brother, Andrew. "He was a pistol."’
    • ‘"She never backed down," Corio said. "She was a pistol."’
    • ‘My daughter Maria is 8 years old and she's a pistol.’
    • ‘That 94-year-old grandmother is the subject of the article, and apparently she's a pistol.’
    • ‘"Megan's a pistol, a real spitfire," says Cartwright, who, besides Bart, voices five other male dudes on the decade-old "Simpsons".’
    • ‘This gal is really a pistol...She wants everything.’

verbverb pistols, verb pistolling, verb pistolled; US verb pistoling, US verb pistoled

[with object] dated
  • Shoot (someone) with a pistol.

    • ‘In fact he pistolled the wounded Fraser at Culloden and the officers celebrated by splashing themselves in Highland blood.’


Mid 16th century 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.