Definition of obol in English:



  • An ancient Greek coin worth one sixth of a drachma.

    • ‘Pay for mercenaries and allies continued at the same rates as citizens: normally 3 obols, sometimes a drachma.’
    • ‘On the appointed day the Athenian public would gather at the theatre of Dionysus on the south slope of the Acropolis, paid their admission of two obols, and witnessed a series of plays.’
    • ‘He was responsible for increasing the jurors' pay from two to three obols.’
    • ‘A less expensive assignation, however, might have cost one obol or less.’
    • ‘The only one with a regular revenue stream seemed to be Charon's ferry service, no shortage of dead people willing to pay the required obol to get across.’


Via Latin from Greek obolos, variant of obelos (see obelus).