Definitions

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

  • n. A throwing device usually consisting of a stick fitted with a thong or socket to steady the butt of a spear or dart and extend the length it travels.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A spear thrower: a wooden stick with a thong or perpendicularly protruding hook on the rear end that grips a grove or socket on the butt of its accompanying spear (or dart); intended to steady the spear immediately prior to throwing, to increase its potential range when thrown, and to increase its force of penetration of the target.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The throwing-stick of the Mexicans, used for propelling spears with great force. See throwing-stick.

Etymologies

Nahuatl, from atla, to throw.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Classical Nahuatl ahtlatl (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • "A Rwandan man-at-arms grasps an atlatl and casts a fatal shaft that can stab a grand marshall."
    Eunoia by Christian Bök (upgraded edition), p 28

    May 20, 2010

  • Some related conversation can be found on axolotl.

    July 8, 2009

  • Fingerflinger.

    October 10, 2008

  • The longest uncommon tautonym beginning with 'a'.

    --Chris Cole, Wordplay (See comment under "Wordplay List".)

    May 25, 2008