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

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 athletic 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


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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 Sweeney’s highlights included winning the javelin and the 110-meter hurdles, finishing second in the shot put and the high jump and third in the long jump during the two-day event. Lori Riley, courant.com, 16 June 2021 His wife, a javelin thrower at Arizona State, has a longer connection with the area. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 June 2021 Jim, a successful business owner, also owns Hammerman USA, a 5.5-acre facility on the East Side of Aurora that provides training for the field events — shot put, discus, hammer and javelin. Rick Armstrong, chicagotribune.com, 7 June 2021 In the javelin, North Reading’s Madison Vant placed first with a throw of 26.8 meters. BostonGlobe.com, 30 May 2021 Often in trouble at school, he was assigned to do maintenance at the baseball field one day when an errant javelin from track practice landed nearby. Washington Post, 3 June 2021 The Hornets won the javelin, the triple jump relay, the 4x100 relay, and the 4x100 shuttle hurdles. BostonGlobe.com, 30 May 2021 Sophomore Akealy Moton of North Dakota State won the women's javelin (179 feet, 1 inch) in the NCAA West Preliminary meet in College Station, Texas. Star Tribune, 27 May 2021 Sophomore Grant Bunyard had a busy three days, dominating the decathlon, winning the javelin throw (42.66 meters) and finishing third in three other events (long jump, shot put and discus). Brent Kennedy, baltimoresun.com, 23 May 2021

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 Celtic origin; akin to Old Irish gabul forked stick

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

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Last Updated

18 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Javelin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/javelin. Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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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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