Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A gold coin equal to two escudos, formerly used in Spain.
  • n. Any of several gold coins used in various European countries until the late 19th century.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of obsolete Spanish coin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The name of certain gold coins of various values formerly coined in some countries of Europe. In Spain it was equivalent to a quarter doubloon, or about $3.90, and in Germany and Italy nearly the same. There was an old Italian pistole worth about $5.40.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A gold coin of Spain, worth at the beginning of the nineteenth century nearly $4 United States money.

Etymologies

French, back-formation from pistolet, diminutive of pistole, pistol; see pistol.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The rest I call by caliber; my .270, my "Whelen", and the "00-6", and the Black Shadow-. 44 Mag ... the 9mm pistole is "Petro" (Beretta 92FS) and the GP 100 is the "Ruger magnum".

    Do you name your guns?

  • [6] A pistole was a Spanish gold coin in use in Carter's time.

    Letter from Robert Carter to Benjamin Grayson, July 27, 1731

  • [25] A pistole was a Spanish gold coin in use in Carter's time.

    Robert Carter Diary, 1726

  • ( "Carter Papers: An Inventory ....") [5] A pistole was a Spanish gold coin.

    Robert Carter Diary, 1725

  • [2] A pistole was a Spanish gold coin in use in Carter's time.

    Robert Carter Diary, 1722

  • Book XV, 53.) [5] A pistole was a Spanish gold coin in use in Carter's time.

    Letter from Robert Carter to Mann Page, June 20, 1729

  • The pistole is a Spanish gold coin worth about four dollars; formerly the French pistole was worth in France ten _livres_ -- about ten francs -- they were struck in Franche-Comté.] we should have no need now to think of and try to find out what means we must employ in compassing our wishes; we might, by purchasing this slave quickly, prevent your rival from forestalling and thwarting you.

    The Blunderer

  • They were still enraged over the pistole dispute and irked that the lieutenant governor had already launched a campaign.

    George Washington’s First War

  • The assembly had been in session from November 1 to December 19, most of the time wrangling over the pistole fee.

    George Washington’s First War

  • Dinwiddie was annoyed that the Burgesses had voted to send a delegation to London to complain about the pistole fee dispute.

    George Washington’s First War

Comments

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  • Citation on doubloon.

    July 29, 2008

  • A type of ancient (Spanish, I think) coin of small denomination. Usage note on mohur.

    March 16, 2008