caltrop

noun
cal·​trop | \ ˈkal-trəp How to pronounce caltrop (audio) , ˈkȯl- \
variants: or less commonly calthrop \ ˈkal-​thrəp How to pronounce caltrop (audio) , ˈkȯl-​ \

Definition of caltrop

1a caltrops also calthrops plural in form but singular or plural in construction : star thistle sense 1
b : puncture vine also : any of various related herbs (genera Tribulus and Kallstroemia) of the same family (Zygophyllaceae, the caltrop family)
2 : a device with four metal points so arranged that when any three are on the ground the fourth projects upward as a hazard to the hooves of horses or to pneumatic tires

Examples of caltrop in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During a search warrant, investigators learned that the man had purchased 170 caltrop spikes through his Amazon account. Connor Sanders, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Nov. 2021 The book’s cover image reflects the internal shape of the novel: a caltrop. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 25 July 2021 The book’s cover image reflects the internal shape of the novel: a caltrop. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 25 July 2021 The book’s cover image reflects the internal shape of the novel: a caltrop. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 25 July 2021 The book’s cover image reflects the internal shape of the novel: a caltrop. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 25 July 2021 The book’s cover image reflects the internal shape of the novel: a caltrop. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 25 July 2021 The book’s cover image reflects the internal shape of the novel: a caltrop. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 25 July 2021 The book’s cover image reflects the internal shape of the novel: a caltrop. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 25 July 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of caltrop

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for caltrop

Middle English caltrappe, alteration of calketrappe star thistle, from Old English calcatrippe, from Medieval Latin calcatrippa

Learn More About caltrop

Time Traveler for caltrop

Time Traveler

The first known use of caltrop was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near caltrop

caltrap

caltrop

calumet

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for caltrop

Cite this Entry

“Caltrop.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/caltrop. Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!