American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A military machine for hurling missiles, such as large stones or spears, used in ancient and medieval times.
- n. A mechanism for launching aircraft at a speed sufficient for flight, as from the deck of a carrier.
- n. A slingshot.
- v. To hurl or launch from or as if from a catapult.
- v. To become catapulted; spring or bolt.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Roman antiquity, a military engine used to throw darts of great size, called phalarica or trifax. Its construction is nowhere explained with any fullness, and it is uncertain whether its action was that of a crossbow or whether springs were the propelling power. By later authors the catapult and ballista seem to be confounded. In the middle ages the name is hardly used, except where a writer is evidently seeking to give a classical form to his composition. In the annexed cut, which represents a catapult of the later period when no distinction was made between it and the ballista, F is the end of a strong lever, which revolves on an axis and is held down by a windlass, A. At the extremity is a fork, E E, with the prongs curving slightly upward so as to afford a bed for a barrel of combustible matter or a heavy missile confined by a rope with a loop at the end, the loop being passed through a hook, D. When the lever was released it bounded suddenly upward, the centrifugal force causing the loop C to slip off the hook, whereupon the barrel held on the fork was liberated and projected toward its object. B shows rings of iron, stone, or lead, intended to increase the rebound due to the stretched cables or other devices which furnished the propelling force.
- n. A small forked stick to each prong of which is attached an elastic band, generally provided with a piece of leather in the middle, used by boys for throwing small missiles, such as stones, peas, paper pellets, and the like.
- To hurl, as a missile, as from a catapult.
- To shoot at with a catapult: as, to catapult birds.
- To use a catapult in hurling missiles.
- n. A device or weapon for throwing or launching large objects, such as a mechanical aid on aircraft carriers designed to help airplanes take off from the flight deck.
- n. UK slingshot
- n. An instance of firing a missile from a catapult.
- n. figuratively An instance of firing something, as if from a catapult.
- v. transitive To fire a missile from a catapult.
- v. transitive To fire or launch something, as if from a catapult.
- v. transitive To increase the status of something rapidly.
- v. intransitive To be fired from a catapult or as if from a catapult.
- v. intransitive To have one's status increased rapidly.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Mil. Antiq.) An engine somewhat resembling a massive crossbow, used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for throwing stones, arrows, spears, etc.
- n. A forked stick with elastic band for throwing small stones, etc.
- v. shoot forth or launch, as if from a catapult
- n. a device that launches aircraft from a warship
- v. hurl as if with a sling
- n. an engine that provided medieval artillery used during sieges; a heavy war engine for hurling large stones and other missiles
- n. a plaything consisting of a Y-shaped stick with elastic between the arms; used to propel small stones
- From Latin catapulta, from Ancient Greek καταπέλτης (katapeltēs), from κατά (kata, "downwards, into, against") + πάλλω (pallō, "I poise or sway a missile before it is thrown"). (Wiktionary)
- French catapulte, from Old French, from Latin catapulta, from Greek katapaltēs : kata-, cata- + pallein, to brandish, poise a weapon before hurling. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Now, why do I think that's not what we mean by the term catapult?”
Yon Ill Wind
“Seven pointers to help you catapult from the slush pile”
“They bring the aircraft into position, get them ready to be attached to that incredibly strong catapult, which is operated by a huge steam piston underneath the deck here.”
“I remember also, when a boy, using a very effective weapon, which I should describe as a catapult gun.”
Practical Taxidermy A manual of instruction to the amateur in collecting, preserving, and setting up natural history specimens of all kinds. To which is added a chapter upon the pictorial arrangement of museums. With additional instructions in modelling and artistic taxidermy.
“The catapult was the howitzer, or mortar, of its day and could throw”
“Plants dispersing seeds in this manner have been called catapult fruits.”
“The only thing a player needs to operate the catapult is their finger.”
“Cameron said the U.K. will press ahead with the construction of two aircraft carriers, though the launch of the first will be deferred to 2020 from 2016 to allow for the fitting of so-called catapult and arrester gear.”
“See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." —”
““See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.””
These user-created lists contain the word ‘catapult’.
A complete Barron's Wordlist for GRE preparation. Your online flashcard replacement.
All these terms have a (different) American English equivalent. Wonder if you can identify them?
down(ward), wrongly or badly, completely, against
words delicious to pronounce
My big word list.
Words I like mostly because of the way they sound and feel.
Looking for tweets for catapult.