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or deringer

[der-in-jer] /ˈdɛr ɪn dʒər/
an early short-barreled pocket pistol.
Origin of derringer
1850-55, Americanism; named after Henry Deringer, mid-19th-century American gunsmith who invented it Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for derringer
Historical Examples
  • My offering him a chair, but being all the time obliged to cover him with a derringer under the bedclothes.

  • He composedly tucked the derringer into his waistcoat pocket again.

    Desert Dust Edwin L. Sabin
  • Those who hurried to his cell at the report of the derringer found Haas dead.

  • Doctor Hissong leaped from the stand, a derringer in his hand.

    Shawn of Skarrow James Tandy Ellis
  • Dyer caught sight of this little manuvre, and he goes into his tent and quickly slips a derringer into his pocket.

    Wigwam and War-path; Or the Royal Chief in Chains A. B. (Alfred Benjamin) Meacham
  • derringer: a pistol, so called from the name of the inventor.

    The Short-story William Patterson Atkinson
  • We were jumped not ten miles out of town, and before any one could draw a derringer every man of us was covered.

    Foes in Ambush Charles King
  • He could see I was losing my temper and took a little pistol from his pocket—a derringer.

    The Grell Mystery Frank Froest
  • Do you know that the soldiers always carry a derringer in their pockets?

    Elam Storm, The Wolfer Harry Castlemon
  • The pistol you hold in your hand is a derringer, I presume, loaded.

British Dictionary definitions for derringer


a short-barrelled pocket pistol of large calibre
Word Origin
C19: named after Henry Deringer, American gunsmith who invented it
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for derringer

1850, for Henry Deringer (1786-1868), U.S. gunsmith who invented it in the 1840s; prevailing misspelled form is how his name appeared on the many counterfeits and imitations. "A small pistol with a large bore, very effective at short range" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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