jav·​e·​lin | \ ˈjav-lən How to pronounce javelin (audio) , ˈja-və-\

Definition of javelin

1 : a light spear thrown as a weapon of war or in hunting
2a : a slender usually metal shaft at least 260 centimeters long that is thrown for distance in an athetic field event
b or javelin throw : an athletic field event in which a javelin is thrown for distance won the gold medal in the javelin … Serene Ross, who set her second American record in three weeks in the javelin throw in winning at 197 feet.— Frank Litsky

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Synonyms for javelin


lance, pike, pikestaff, shaft, spear

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Examples of javelin in a Sentence

from atop his horse the warrior hurled a javelin that pierced the chest of his hapless foe

Recent Examples on the Web

At that point, Cutler will light the Olympic torch, throw the javelin and win a gold, shine his Super Bowl trophies, get fitted for his Hall of Fame jacket and be sworn in as Chicago’s new mayor. Will Larkin, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 78, Jay Cutler," 20 June 2019 Freshman Hayden Fox qualified for nationals in the javelin, while the 4x400m relay team of Eric Hughey, Simon Petsch, Cameron Hurd and John Finnegan is also set to compete. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore-area sports news: Maryland lacrosse goalie Megan Taylor a finalist for Honda Award," 4 June 2019 All of the javelin’s trajectory had originated in Mr. Cantor’s supple muscles. Benjamin Taylor, Harper's magazine, "Exit Ghost," 10 Mar. 2019 North Bend’s Ty Hampton retakes the national prep lead in the javelin at the New Balance Nationals. oregonlive.com, "Information and enthusiasm is hard to find in Track Town: Oregon track & field rundown," 16 June 2019 Mississippi State’s sweep of the NCAA men’s javelin makes history. oregonlive.com, "Ducks reach for trophy as men’s action concludes today at the NCAA Championships: Oregon track & field rundown," 7 June 2019 Arrows flew here, there through the air; blood gushed and flowed; Darts, stones, and javelins were hurled by ballistae and slingshots. William Gurstelle, Popular Mechanics, "The Real History of the Ballista, Game of Thrones' Anti-Dragon Weapon," 6 May 2019 Another uncle, Brian, holds the UO record in the old implement javelin. Ken Goe, OregonLive.com, "Ryan Crouser picks the right time to reset the Prefontaine Classic shot record," 26 May 2018 As many as 100,000 fans will flock to the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field to watch track sprints, milelong races, pole vaulting, javelin throws, and more at the 124th annual Penn Relays. Grace Dickinson, Philly.com, "5 best April events to check out in in Philadephia," 28 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'javelin.' 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 javelin

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for javelin

Middle English chafeveleyn, from Middle French javeline, alteration of javelot, of Celt origin; akin to Old Irish gabul forked stick

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Dictionary Entries near javelin



javel green



javelin bat


Statistics for javelin

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for javelin

The first known use of javelin was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for javelin



English Language Learners Definition of javelin

: a long spear that people throw as far as they can as a sport
: an event in which people compete by trying to throw a javelin farther than everyone else


jav·​e·​lin | \ ˈjav-lən How to pronounce javelin (audio) , ˈja-və-lən\

Kids Definition of javelin

1 : a light spear
2 : a slender rod thrown for distance in a track-and-field contest ( javelin throw )

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Comments on javelin

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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