ˈja-və- How to pronounce javelin (audio)
: a light spear thrown as a weapon of war or in hunting
: a slender usually metal shaft at least 260 centimeters long that is thrown for distance in an athletic field event
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

Example Sentences

from atop his horse the warrior hurled a javelin that pierced the chest of his hapless foe
Recent Examples on the Web Kenya’s most identifiable community is abandoning hunting lions with spears for javelin throwing at a biannual event called the Maasai Olympics. Evelyne Musambi, ajc, 12 Dec. 2022 Rounding out the girls’ champs were Crescent Valley’s Emily Wisniewski (3,000), Ridgeview’s Zowie Nunes (javelin) and Crater’s Clara Bennett (high jump). oregonlive, 20 May 2022 But the television show pressed on, oblivious or perhaps obstinate to the commotion a javelin throw away. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 July 2021 Only one other American was won a Diamond League javelin, and Winger has done so twice – at the Prefontaine Classic, Eugene, Ore., July 3, 2010, and Friday, also 12 years apart. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, 2 Sep. 2022 Scott Young, a doting grandfather of four young kids, just returned from the World Police & Fire Games in the Netherlands with three gold medals in his age group — for discus, shot put and javelin throwing. San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Aug. 2022 The long jump and javelin start in the morning, and the last event is the 800 meters at 6:55 p.m. oregonlive, 18 July 2022 Online, the image evolved into a meme and the rifle was replaced by a javelin. Leila Barghouty, Washington Post, 18 Sep. 2022 Saturday’s javelin final concludes the non-decathlon throwing events for Oregon22. oregonlive, 23 July 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near javelin

Cite this Entry

“Javelin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/javelin. Accessed 26 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


jav·​e·​lin ˈjav-(ə-)lən How to pronounce javelin (audio)
: a light spear
: a slender usually metal shaft that is thrown for distance in a track-and-field event

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