Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A 17th century firearm, using a matchlock or a wheellock mechanism to make sparks in the firing pan.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A sort of hand cannon, or portable firearm, used in France in the 15th century.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A band-firearm introduced in the sixteenth century, shorter than the ordinary harquebus, but longer than the pistol; a sort of large horse-pistol. It was fired by a match-lock, wheel-lock, or other appliance, according to the period in which it was used.
  • n. In heraldry, a pistol used as a bearing.

Etymologies

From Middle French petrinal, alteration of poitrinal, from poitrinal ("of the chest"), from poitrine ("chest, breast"), from Latin pectorina, feminine of pectorinus ("of the breast"), from Latin pectus ("chest") + -inus ("-ine") (Wiktionary)

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