cat·​a·​pult | \ ˈka-tə-ˌpəlt How to pronounce catapult (audio) , -ˌpu̇lt \

Definition of catapult

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


catapulted; catapulting; catapults

Definition of catapult (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to throw or launch by or as if by a catapult

intransitive verb

: to become catapulted he catapulted to fame

Illustration of catapult

Illustration of catapult


catapult 1

In the meaning defined above

Synonyms for catapult

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of catapult in a Sentence

Verb They catapulted rocks toward the castle. The publicity catapulted her CD to the top of the charts. The novel catapulted him from unknown to best-selling author. He catapulted to fame after his first book was published. Her career was catapulting ahead.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In 2017, Nike released its Zoom Vaporfly 4%, a road running shoe with a carbon-fiber plate in the midsole that acts as a catapult, more efficiently returning energy to its wearer. New York Times, 26 July 2022 To get aloft without a mini-airport, they’re launched via a small catapult that can placed on a roof. John Koetsier, Forbes, 28 June 2022 Using a summer with Team USA as a catapult for his third-year leap, Garland averaged a career-high 21.7 points and 8.6 assists while igniting a franchise transformation. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 9 July 2022 The use of a catapult on Type 003 will allow the PLAN to embark its own version of the Hawkeye. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 15 June 2022 For example, Miranda points to Cruise’s catapult launch from the deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Jen Yamato, Los Angeles Times, 5 June 2022 The catapult system is like the ones on U.S. aircraft carriers. Harold Maass, The Week, 17 June 2022 The new catapult system, similar to the ones used by US aircraft carriers, will allow China to launch a wider variety of planes from the Fujian faster and with more ammunition. Nectar Gan, Brad Lendon, CNN, 17 June 2022 The real question is what kind of catapult system Type 003 will have. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 15 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb High temperatures may end up in the 82-88 range, with more clouds than currently expected keeping us toward the low end of the range; more sunshine than forecast now may catapult us to the high end. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, 29 July 2022 That formula has helped catapult many artists, like Ricky Martin and Shakira, to superstardom. Griselda Flores, Billboard, 21 July 2022 More than 65,000 shells will catapult off the East River’s five barges. Li Anne Liew, Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2022 The bumper results catapult Glencore into a group of companies that have been early winners from the market and economic volatility that has whipsawed many other companies and governments. Alistair Macdonald, WSJ, 17 June 2022 The blockbuster tech deal would catapult the chipmaker into a highly specialized area of software. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 13 June 2022 Kameny’s story would catapult Cervini from an inquisitive college student to a New York Times bestselling author, Pulitzer Prize finalist and LGBTQ pioneer in his own right. Matt Lavietes, NBC News, 1 June 2022 Of course, this connection must be an authentic one and, when earned, can catapult brands beyond what other generations would do. Stefan Pollack, Forbes, 19 May 2022 Why do these male spiders catapult away from females? Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 26 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of catapult


1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1848, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for catapult


Middle French or Latin; Middle French catapulte, from Latin catapulta, from Greek katapaltēs, from kata- + pallein to hurl

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The first known use of catapult was in 1577

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Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Catapult.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for catapult


cat·​a·​pult | \ ˈka-tə-ˌpəlt How to pronounce catapult (audio) \

Kids Definition of catapult

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an ancient military machine for hurling stones and arrows
2 : a device for launching an airplane from the deck of a ship


catapulted; catapulting

Kids Definition of catapult (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to throw by or as if by a catapult She catapulted herself out of the door.— Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy
2 : to quickly advance The movie role catapulted her to fame.

More from Merriam-Webster on catapult

Nglish: Translation of catapult for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of catapult for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about catapult


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