Definitions

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

  • n. An ancient and medieval engine of warfare used to hurl heavy projectiles at a target.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An ancient military engine, in the form of a crossbow, used for hurling large missiles.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An ancient military engine, in the form of a crossbow, used for hurling large missiles.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An ancient military engine used for throwing missiles.
  • n. [NL.] In anatomy, the astragalus, a bone of the tarsus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an engine that provided medieval artillery used during sieges; a heavy war engine for hurling large stones and other missiles

Etymologies

Latin, from Greek ballistēs, from ballein, to throw; see gwelə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin ballista, from Ancient Greek βαλλίστρα (ballistra), from βάλλω (ballō, "I throw"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • In Italian, fam. for bullshitter.

    August 24, 2008

  • Early missile weapon resembling large crossbow on a carriage, firing metal bolts, arrows, or stone slugs.

    August 24, 2008