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 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for javelin


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Gain a position behind the frog and have your gig ready in the javelin-throwing position. Johnny Sain, Outdoor Life, "Frog Gigging is Cheap, Hot, Muddy Fun," 11 June 2020 After a solid season debut, javelin thrower Barbora Spotakova is pleased to be back at it. oregonlive, "Athletes find their voice about racial issues and social justice: Oregon track & field rundown," 7 June 2020 To date, the site has yielded a trove of prehistoric weapons, including wooden spears and javelins thought to be the oldest ever discovered. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "300,000-Year-Old Stick Suggests Human Ancestors Were Skilled Hunters," 23 Apr. 2020 The javelin bipod is relatively new, but has taken the hunting crowd by storm. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "The 2019 Rifle Shooter’s Holiday Gift Guide," 13 Nov. 2019 The Mavericks won two relays and received individual victories from Josh Schwartz (800-meter run) and Will Leger (javelin), who scored in four events. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "St. John’s, St. Agnes win Maverick Relays," 23 Mar. 2020 Boone was recruited to Boise State as a javelin thrower and also competed in the heptathlon in college. oregonlive, "Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone climbing historic ladders," 29 Nov. 2019 Purdue graduate Kara Winger threw the javelin from the backstop of a baseball diamond into the outfield at an elementary school. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Olympic aspirants reset to try again in 2021, if they can afford it," 24 Mar. 2020 Flynn also competed in the discus and javelin on Marquette's track and field team. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Obituary: Milwaukee native Tom Flynn helped usher in Al McGuire era at Marquette," 24 Feb. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about javelin

Time Traveler for javelin

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for javelin

Last Updated

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Javelin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/javelin. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for javelin


How to pronounce javelin (audio)

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 )

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!