from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.
  • transitive v. To hurl or launch from or as if from a catapult.
  • intransitive v. To become catapulted; spring or bolt.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • 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. slingshot
  • n. An instance of firing a missile from a catapult.
  • n. An instance of firing something, as if from a catapult.
  • v. To fire a missile from a catapult.
  • v. To fire or launch something, as if from a catapult.
  • v. To increase the status of something rapidly.
  • v. To be fired from a catapult or as if from a catapult.
  • v. To have one's status increased rapidly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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. In Roman antiquity, a military engine used to throw darts of great size, called phalarica or trifax.
  • 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.

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

  • 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


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)
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)



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