Definition of obol in English:



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

    • ‘He was responsible for increasing the jurors' pay from two to three obols.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A less expensive assignation, however, might have cost one obol or less.’
    • ‘Pay for mercenaries and allies continued at the same rates as citizens: normally 3 obols, sometimes a drachma.’


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