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 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 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

No other nation has ever attempted such a feat — which means the mission could catapult China into spaceflight history. Loren Grush, The Verge, "This weekend, China embarks on a historic mission to land on the far side of the Moon," 6 Dec. 2018 And at the center of the swarm was Kim, an actor suddenly catapulted from a relative newcomer to the key player in a beloved series. Lilli Millhiser, Glamour, "Everyone Is Going to Be Talking About Fantastic Beasts Actress Claudia Kim," 14 Nov. 2018 The Best Cities in America Excellent culture and nightlife catapulted New York to the top of the heap. Bloomberg, Fortune, "The Best Cities in America — Big and Small," 5 June 2018 The Democratic Party’s blue wave of resistance has been churning across the country for over a year now, catapulting liberals to primary victories up and down the ballot. David Freedlander, Daily Intelligencer, "Progressive Energy Is Sweeping the Country — But Not New York’s Democratic Party," 24 May 2018 Leicester City Football Club was catapulted into the spotlight in 2016 when, under Vichai’s ownership, the club won England’s Premier League against all odds. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Prince William and Kate Middleton Made a Somber Visit to Leicester Today," 28 Nov. 2018 Her career as an actress was catapulted by the success of the award-winning show, and even earned her direct praise from Beyoncé, but Serayah continued to feed her true longtime passion: making music. Regina Cho, Billboard, "'Empire' Star Serayah Talks About Receiving Praise From Beyonce, Premieres New Video 'So Good'," 13 July 2018 Sherald immediately was catapulted into the national spotlight and suddenly has become something of a celebrity. David Menconi, ajc, "'I'm the same person I was before.' Amy Sherald, Michelle Obama's portrait artist, is a star," 7 June 2018 Tiago Pereira update On Saturday, jockey Tiago Pereira was catapulted 10 feet in the air when his mount Waya Ed apparently clipped heels and then broke a back leg on the fall in the stretch run of the Snow Chief Stakes. John Cherwa, latimes.com, "Racing! Affirmed comes in at No. 5 in Triple Crown poll," 4 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

Last Updated

1 Jan 2019

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

tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!