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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for catapult

Synonyms: Verb

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The scale of the catapult project was simply enormous. William Gurstelle, Popular Mechanics, "The Legend of Ludgar the War Wolf, King of the Trebuchets," 1 May 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That’s catapulted them to their first World Cup quarterfinal in a dozen years. Brian Straus, SI.com, "Quarterfinal Stage a Narrative Tipping Point for World Cup Contenders," 5 July 2018 The pressure of providing for a small child catapulted me into action. Danielle Young, The Root, "Black Mamas Work: 6 Career-Driven Moms Share Their Messy Lessons, Wins and Fears of Raising Black Kids," 9 May 2018 Still, our efforts didn’t suddenly catapult us into video vixen territory. refinery29.com, "Why Proms – Supersized, Superglam – Don’t Look Anything Like The Ones You Remember," 30 Apr. 2018 Ermey's performance in the 1987 Stanley Kubrick film catapulted him to stardom and nomination for a Golden Globe Award. Glenn E. Rice, kansascity, "R. Lee Ermey, Kansas native and 'Full Metal Jacket' actor, dies at 74 | The Kansas City Star," 15 Apr. 2018 When Mo Bamba, the Magic’s rookie center, blocked a driving shot attempt during the first quarter, Gordon and Ross catapulted off their seats and cheered. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Aaron Gordon’s new Magic contract brought tears to his eyes," 10 July 2018 There's a chance their being the recipients of significant scorn from liberals could catapult them -- and the president -- into new levels of support from the conservative base. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "Why racially charged tweets by the wife of Bill Shine likely won’t matter much," 9 July 2018 The win, a landmark victory against Serena Williams, catapulted her to the pinnacle of the sport. Vogue, "Tennis Star Garbiñe Muguruza on Living the Dream," 29 June 2018 Should Neymar and Brazil stumble in Moscow, Switzerland are hoping a win over Costa Rica in Nizhny Novgorod could catapult them into the last 16 as Group E winners. Justin Davis, chicagotribune.com, "Germany, Brazil, Mexico play for their World Cup lives in group stage finale," 27 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about catapult

Statistics for catapult

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for catapult

The first known use of catapult was in 1577

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on catapult

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!