noun \ˈka-tə-ˌpəlt, -ˌplt\

: an ancient weapon used for throwing large rocks

: a device for launching an airplane from the deck of an aircraft carrier

Full Definition of CATAPULT

:  an ancient military device for hurling missiles
:  a device for launching an airplane at flying speed (as from an aircraft carrier)

Illustration of CATAPULT

Origin of CATAPULT

Middle French or Latin; Middle French catapulte, from Latin catapulta, from Greek katapaltēs, from kata- + pallein to hurl
First Known Use: 1577

Other Military Terms

bivouac, logistics, petard, salient, sally, supernumerary, tactical

Rhymes with CATAPULT



: to throw (something) with a catapult

: to cause (someone or something) to quickly move up or ahead or to a better position

: to quickly move up or ahead : to quickly advance to a better position

Full Definition of CATAPULT

transitive verb
:  to throw or launch by or as if by a catapult
intransitive verb
:  to become catapulted <he catapulted to fame>

Examples of CATAPULT

  1. They catapulted rocks toward the castle.
  2. The publicity catapulted her CD to the top of the charts.
  3. The novel catapulted him from unknown to best-selling author.
  4. He catapulted to fame after his first book was published.
  5. Her career was catapulting ahead.

First Known Use of CATAPULT


Other Military Terms

bivouac, logistics, petard, salient, sally, supernumerary, tactical


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Mechanism for forcefully propelling stones, spears, or other projectiles, in use since ancient times. Nearly all catapults employed in ancient and medieval artillery operated by a sudden release of tension on wooden beams or twisted cords of horsehair, gut, sinew, or other fibres. An exception was the medieval trebuchet, powered by a counterweight. Modern mechanisms using steam, hydraulic pressure, tension, or other force to launch gliders, aircraft, or missiles are also called catapults.


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