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Definitions

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

  • n. A medieval catapult for hurling heavy stones.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A medieval siege engine consisting of a large pivoting arm heavily weighted on one end. Considered to be the technological successor to the catapult.
  • n. A torture device for dunking suspected witches by means of a chair attached to the end of a long pole.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A cucking stool; a tumbrel.
  • n. A military engine used in the Middle Ages for throwing stones, etc. It acted by means of a great weight fastened to the short arm of a lever, which, being let fall, raised the end of the long arm with great velocity, hurling stones with much force.
  • n. A kind of balance for weighing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In medieval warfare, a missile engine resembling the ballista.
  • n. A kind of balance or scales used in weighing coins or other small articles, the pan containing which tilts over if the balance is not exact.
  • n. A kind of trap for catching small birds or animals by the tilting of the part on which the bait is placed.
  • n. A cucking-stool.

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

Middle English, from Old French, from trebucher, to overthrow : tre-, over (from Latin trāns-; see trans-) + but, trunk of the body (of Germanic origin).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French trebuchet, trebuket et al. (modern trébuchet), from trebuchier ("to overthrow, topple"), from tre- + *buchier, from Old French buc ("trunk of the body"), from Old Frankish *būk (“belly, trunk, torso”), from Proto-Germanic *būkaz (“belly, abdomen, trunk”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰōw- (“to blow, swell”). Cognate with Old High German būh ("belly"), Old English būc ("belly, trunk"). More at bouk. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Thus, a trebuchet is a form of catapult (as is the steam-powered unit that throws F14's off the deck of the Nimitz, but I digress) However in wargame usage the two (catapult and trebuchet) are totally different.

    A Couple of Funny Shows

  • Nevertheless, any time that you get to use the word "trebuchet" is good.

    POLL RESULTS: Steven Spielberg Movies

  • Hi! working on this myself! player names are in trebuchet font slightly thicker with modified letter i's. working on numbers! any fonts appreciated esp. epl, puma 2008, adidas 2006 pparke@hotmail. co.uk

    Share with me

  • But a trebuchet is not just a catapult - plus seeing one in action is a sight to behold.

    A Couple of Funny Shows

  • I'm told there are different disciplines in the sport, including throwing, catching, target practice, and hoisting eggs into the air with a contraption called a trebuchet.

    Len Berman: Top 5 Sports Stories

  • In last year's competition, most teams used a fancy catapult, an ancient weapon also known as a trebuchet.

    Engineers Out to Squash the Competition

  • The trebuchet is a type of catapult designed with a pivoting arm that can throw objects at great distances depending on the height of the structure, the length of the throwing arm, the weight of the counterweight, and the weight of the object being thrown, among many other variables.

    Engineers Out to Squash the Competition

  • But Jordan Shoulders, Kevin Rutherford and Kenny Gamblin based theirs on a design called a trebuchet that used a system of counterweights, even making the brick-sized weights themselves using concrete.

    Medieval Technology and Culture class at the University of Southern Indiana

  • A trebuchet was a Lost Age human siege engine from their Level Two civilizations — pre-steam — mechanical but much more powerful than a mere catapult, able to launch huge boulders more than a mile.

    Ilium

  • The trebuchet was another war machine used extensively during the

    Artillery Through the Ages A Short Illustrated History of Cannon, Emphasizing Types Used in America

Comments

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  • also a typeface. popular.

    December 16, 2007

  • Boone: I don't get you, man. One minute you're quoting Nietzsche, now all of a sudden you're an engineer. I don't think I can spell 'trebuchet'.
    Locke: There's a 'T' on the end.
    - Lost

    May 4, 2007