- a short firearm intended to be held and fired with one hand.
verb (used with object), pis·toled, pis·tol·ing or (especially British) pis·tolled, pis·tol·ling.
- to shoot with a pistol.
- a short-barrelled handgun
- hold a pistol to a person’s head to threaten a person in order to force him to do what one wants
verb -tols, -tolling or -tolled or US -tols, -toling or -toled
- (tr) to shoot with a pistol
n.“small hand-held firearm,” 1570s, from Middle French pistole “short firearm” (1566), of uncertain origin, sometimes said to be from German Pistole, from Czech pis’tala “firearm,” literally “tube, pipe,” from pisteti “to whistle,” of imitative origin, related to Russian pischal “shepherd’s pipe.” But earlier English form pistolet (1550) is said to be from Middle French pistolet “a small firearm,” also “a small dagger,” which may be the literal sense; though some connect this word with Italian pistolese, in reference to Pistoia, town in Tuscany noted for gunsmithing. Pistol-whip (v.) is first recorded 1942.