catapult

noun
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)

catapult

verb
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

Noun

catapult 1

In the meaning defined above

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Synonyms for catapult

Synonyms: Verb

cast, chuck, dash, fire, fling, heave, hurl, hurtle, launch, lob, loft, peg, pelt, pitch, sling, throw, toss

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Zero-to-60 mph acceleration is 8.1 seconds, a flaming catapult of temperance. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Lexus ES 300h: Spend on the Luxury, Save on Gas Money," 24 Jan. 2019 The 65,000 ships are the largest warships ever built in the U.K. One odd feature (or lack thereof) on the two carriers is the absence of aircraft catapults and arresting gear. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.K. F-35s Will Use Strange Rolling Carrier Landings," 16 Oct. 2018 Helicopter or tilt-rotor carrier landings do not require the same amount of preparation as that needed for a C-2 landing; there is no need for a catapult and a tilt-rotor naturally has a much wider envelope with which to maneuver. Kris Osborn, Fox News, "Marines will fly Osprey until 2060, prepping the aircraft for future wars," 18 Sep. 2018 Take a look: The catapult is the first of its kind anywhere in the world, says operator AJ Hackett Bungy NZ. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Nevis Catapult Is New Zealand’s Most Insane Thrill Ride," 7 Aug. 2018 Aircraft launched by catapults can get airborne and with greater quantities of fuel and ammunition, giving them an advantage over Chinese planes, which rely on their own power when lifting off from the Liaoning's ski-jump. Ben Westcott And Brad Lendon, CNN, "China's first homegrown aircraft carrier heads out for sea trial," 12 May 2018 The robot is designed like a catapult to throw the ball to home plate. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A robot built by Arrowhead students is throwing out the first pitch at the June 15 Brewers game," 15 June 2018 The two of them once passed two very happy weekends of courtship in attempts to reconstruct an ancient catapult called an onager. Gideon Lewis-kraus, WIRED, "The Blockchain: A Love Story—And a Horror Story," 18 June 2018 This 8,000 square foot inflatable water obstacle course and playground includes a catapult, climbing wall, trampoline, jungle gym, balance beam, bouncing dome, cyclone wheel and freefall wall with a slide. Rod Stafford Hagwood, Sun-Sentinel.com, "9 hot South Florida events in July," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ocasio-Cortez has been scrutinized and criticized—especially by the right wing news media—since her primary victory in New York's 14th Congressional District catapulted her onto the national stage. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Calls Out Sexist Double Standards: Paul Ryan Was Elected at 28 and Called 'a Genius' While I'm a 'Fraud'," 11 Dec. 2018 In 2016, the alliance added a third partner, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. , which brought the group’s combined sales to 10.6 million vehicles and helped catapult it into the top ranks of the world’s largest auto sellers. Chester Dawson, WSJ, "Nissan-Renault Scandal Shows It’s Hard to Keep Car Alliances On Track," 11 Dec. 2018 Case Keenum captured lightning in a bottle for the NFC North champions last season, catapulting him to a two-year deal with the Broncos, but Cousins is a better pure passer and hasn’t missed a start the last three seasons. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "NFC North gets a makeover during frenzied start to free agency," 17 Mar. 2018 Tapping this resource at home would catapult U.S. production closer to China levels, which now account for 90 percent of the market share. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "We've Found a New Source for Rare-Earth Elements We Need for Green Tech," 7 Mar. 2019 So that the daughter of a janitor has a chance to become a public school teacher, which catapulted me into the middle class. Reid J. Epstein, WSJ, "Warren’s Swing Through Iowa Harks Back to Past in an Echo of Trump’s Campaign," 6 Jan. 2019 The Cavaliers sharpshooter dropped 14 first-half points on 4 of 4 shooting, which catapulted Korver atop Twitter’s U.S. trending topics. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "A reminder that Kyle Korver has the NBA's craziest workout regimen," 21 May 2018 The story is fascinating: What happens to students who come from low-income backgrounds but catapult into the world of high-powered universities? Mark Sappenfield, The Christian Science Monitor, "When and how America works best," 1 Apr. 2018 League of Legends, a free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena game, became one of the most popular games in the world over the course of the last decade, catapulting Riot Games into the upper echelon of game studios. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Riot Games says fixing studio culture is ‘top priority’ after extensive reports of workplace harassment," 29 Aug. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of catapult

Noun

1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1848, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for catapult

Noun

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

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Statistics for catapult

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Time Traveler for catapult

The first known use of catapult was in 1577

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More Definitions for catapult

catapult

noun

English Language Learners Definition of catapult

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an ancient weapon used for throwing large rocks
: a device for launching an airplane from the deck of an aircraft carrier

catapult

verb

English Language Learners Definition of catapult (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

catapult

noun
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

catapult

verb
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.

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