jav·e·lin | \ ˈjav-lən , 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

His long jump was 26 feet, 3 1/2 inches; shot put, 43-1 3/4; high jump, 6-11 3/4; discus, 140-3; pole vault, 16-9 1/4; javelin, 187-11. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Former Arcadia athlete Tim Duckworth wins NCAA decathlon championship," 8 June 2018 Harris won the gold medal in the 15-16 age group last year in Detroit, Michigan and set personal-best marks in the high jump, javelin throw, pole vault, 1500-meter run, 400-meter run and hurdles. Alex Kushel, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Boynton track club trio blitz to top efforts at national meet," 7 July 2018 USA Track & Field wraps up the weekend action at the Texas Relays, Florida Relays and Stanford Invitational, and makes note of Bucknell freshman Maura Fiamoncini's javelin throw of 184-5. OregonLive.com, "Gwen Jorgensen makes the running community take notice: Oregon track & field rundown," 3 Apr. 2018 Chavez threw the javelin for 22.25 meters, according to results. Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, "St. Charles East grad becomes Special Olympian, earning 2 gold, 2 silver medals in USA Games," 12 July 2018 In addition to football, Capra also throws the discus and javelin in track. Doug Haller, azcentral, "California lineman Joey Capra commits to ASU football," 3 July 2018 Murphy, a personal trainer, threw the javelin and did pole vault, long jump and the sprint relays in high school, but did not compete in college. Matthew Futterman, New York Times, "America’s Next Great Running Hope, and One of the Cruelest Twists in Youth Sports," 8 June 2018 Here are 25 of the state's best in the shot put, discus and javelin. *** Text by Rene Ferran, who can be reached at rferr@hotmail.com. OregonLive.com, "Oregon high school track and field: Meet the state's top throwers," 18 Apr. 2018 Now specializing in the javelin at Cal Poly, Gonter will look to make his mark in the coming seasons. Mark Iandolo, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Where are they now? Gonter, Magnin, Rennick and Rogers," 13 July 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


Phrases Related to javelin

the javelin

Statistics for javelin

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

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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

the javelin : an event in which people compete by trying to throw a javelin farther than everyone else


jav·e·lin | \ ˈjav-lən , 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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