atlatl

noun
at·​latl | \ ˈät-ˌlä-tᵊl How to pronounce atlatl (audio) \

Definition of atlatl

: a device for throwing a spear or dart that consists of a rod or board with a projection (such as a hook) at the rear end to hold the weapon in place until released

Illustration of atlatl

Illustration of atlatl

A atlatl

Examples of atlatl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Watch stomp dancers and hoop dancing, learn about Native American beadwork and pottery, and try your hand at throwing an atlatl, an ancient type of spear. National Geographic, "Step into history at these stunning archaeological sites," 21 Oct. 2019 Create cave paintings, learn to hunt using an atlatl and spear, listen to stories about the Dena’ina way of life, make a Yup’ik-style mask, and check out the life-sized inflatable mammoth known as Pingo Peat. Anchorage Daily News, "Halloween isn’t a day anymore, it’s a season — and it’s kicking off this week," 17 Oct. 2019 Try tree climbing, atlatl throwing, hay rides, pumpkin painting, candle dipping, maze, face painting, apple cider press and more at McCloud Nature Park. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Where to find Oktoberfests, fall and harvest festivals around Indianapolis," 3 Sep. 2019 The star of the program is a 10,000-year-old atlatl dart found in the Greater Yellowstone area. Ritoban Mukherjee, Quartz, "Climate change is bad for the planet, but groundbreaking for archaeology," 30 Aug. 2019 Other demonstrations include Native American technologies of flint knapping and spear throwing using a prehistoric atlatl. Courant Community, "Community News For The Glastonbury Edition," 1 May 2018 Other demonstrations include Native American technologies of flint knapping and spear throwing using a prehistoric atlatl. Courant Community, "Community News For The Glastonbury Edition," 1 May 2018 Try your hand at using an atlatl to spear a target. Courant Community, "Community News For The Glastonbury Edition," 1 May 2018 The 11-year-old hooked the end of a spear into the atlatl, a launcher used by early modern humans. J.p. Lawrence, San Antonio Express-News, "Archeology Day highlights area’s residents over millenniums," 21 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'atlatl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of atlatl

1871, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for atlatl

Nahuatl ahtlatl

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about atlatl

Time Traveler for atlatl

Time Traveler

The first known use of atlatl was in 1871

See more words from the same year

Statistics for atlatl

Cite this Entry

“Atlatl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atlatl. Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on atlatl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with atlatl

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about atlatl

Comments on atlatl

What made you want to look up atlatl? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!