catapult

noun
cat·​a·​pult | \ˈka-tə-ˌpəlt, -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

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 Early testing of the carrier's plane-launching electromagnetic catapult failed in 2015, which was just one of several setbacks for a program that has been criticized by some lawmakers for a series of schedule delays and cost overruns. Zachary Cohen, CNN, "US Navy's most expensive warship just got even pricier," 15 May 2018 SpinLaunch, a startup building space catapults, just raised $35 million in funding from investors, including GV, Airbus, and Kleiner Perkins. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "This Futuristic Startup Raised $40 Million to Fling Heavy Objects Into Space," 15 June 2018 In February 2017, authorities found a pot-hurling catapult south of the border fence, reported The Arizona Daily Star. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Mom’s minivan held five kids – and 231 pounds of drugs, border agents say | The Sacramento Bee," 11 Apr. 2018 Israeli news outlets reported that Palestinians had built an ancient war machine — a trebuchet, or slingshot-like catapult — to hurl heavy stones or even burning tires at the Israeli side. David M. Halbfinger, Iyad Abuheweila And Isabel Kershner, New York Times, "10 Killed in Gaza as Palestinian Protesters Face Off With Israeli Soldiers," 6 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In 2015, Copeland catapulted to the highest ranks of the American Ballet Theatre as its principal ballerina and landed on the cover of Time magazine. Poppy Harlow And Dalila-johari Paul, CNN, "Misty Copeland says the ballet world still has a race problem and she wants to help fix that," 21 May 2018 But the Capital Gazette shooting catapulted the U.S. to the spot of third-most dangerous country for journalists, behind only Syria and Afghanistan, according to the non-profit Committee to Protect Journalists. Caroline Simon, USA TODAY, "Capital Gazette shooting highlights the dangers facing today's journalists," 3 July 2018 Riders catapult down a four-story slide and into a giant bowl, spinning revolution after revolution until landing in the water at the bottom. Jessica Suriano, azcentral, "Here are the best attractions at metro Phoenix's 5 water parks," 22 June 2018 The book catapulted a shy, self-effacing man into a sudden spokesperson for the marginalized immigrant — and also imprinted him as the adventurous bad boy. Evan Kleiman, latimes.com, "He may have had a bad boy persona, but Anthony Bourdain was lovely, loyal and so damn smart," 9 June 2018 At this afternoon's Fendi Couture show in Paris, makeup was a striking fusion of retro and futuristic, catapulting the iconic cat eye into the realm of the present tense. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Fendi Gives the Couture Cat Eye a Bold New Runway Spin," 4 July 2018 His peeved response, uncharacteristic for him, catapults Alinejad to journalistic notoriety; now even the president’s brother recognizes her in the hallways of the Majlis. Rafia Zakaria, New York Times, "The Woman Whose Hair Frightens Iran," 3 July 2018 That changed when the fiery Gibson emerged as the NL most valuable player and Orel Hershiser closed the season with 59 consecutive scoreless innings, breaking Don Drysdale’s major league record and catapulting the Dodgers into the playoffs. Mike Digiovanna, latimes.com, "Bryan Cranston will narrate MLB Network documentary on 1988 World Series champion Dodgers," 30 June 2018 Tragedies like these unfortunately catapult people into becoming activists, and we are humbled to share the White family's crusade for answers in Sugar Town. Kimberly Nordyke, The Hollywood Reporter, "Investigation Discovery Explores Controversial Death of Black Man While in Police Custody (Exclusive)," 26 June 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

Last Updated

23 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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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Comments on catapult

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