catapult


catapult
catapultic, adj.
/kat"euh pult', -poolt'/, n.
1. an ancient military engine for hurling stones, arrows, etc.
2. a device for launching an airplane from the deck of a ship.
3. Brit. a slingshot.
v.t.
4. to hurl from a catapult.
5. to thrust or move quickly or suddenly: His brilliant performance in the play catapulted him to stardom.
6. Brit.
a. to hurl (a missile) from a slingshot.
b. to hit (an object) with a missile from a slingshot.
v.i.
7. to be catapulted.
8. to move or spring up suddenly, quickly, or forcibly, as if by means of a catapult: The car catapulted down the highway. When he heard the alarm he catapulted out of bed.
[1570-80; < L catapulta < Gk katapéltes, equiv. to kata- CATA- + péltes hurler, akin to pállein to hurl]
Syn. 5. throw, fling, propel, pitch, shoot.

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Mechanism for forcefully propelling stones, spears, or other projectiles, in use since ancient times.

Nearly all catapults employed in ancient and medieval artillery operated by a sudden release of tension on wooden beams or twisted cords of horsehair, gut, sinew, or other fibres. An exception was the medieval trebuchet, powered by a counterweight. Modern mechanisms using steam, hydraulic pressure, tension, or other force to launch gliders, aircraft, or missiles are also called catapults.

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  mechanism for forcefully propelling stones, spears, or other projectiles, in use mainly as a military weapon since ancient times. The ancient Greeks and Romans used a heavy crossbowlike weapon known as a ballista to shoot arrows and darts as well as stones at enemy soldiers. The term catapult too can refer to these weapons, but more often it designates a larger engine that is used to hurl stones from a single long arm swinging through the vertical plane. Nearly all catapults employed in ancient and medieval artillery operated by a sudden release of tension on bent wooden beams or of torsion in twisted cords of horsehair, gut, sinew, or other fibres. An exception was the medieval trebuchet, powered by gravity. In this formidable weapon, the long end of an arm on a pivot was hauled or winched down and then released, allowing a heavy counterweight at the short opposite end of the arm to drop and swing the long end upward through a vertical arc. Modern mechanisms using hydraulic pressure, tension, or other force to launch gliders, aircraft, or missiles are also called catapults.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • catapult — index cast (throw), impel, launch (project), precipitate (throw down violently) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

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  • Catapult — A catapult is any one of a number of non handheld mechanical devices used to throw a projectile a great distance without the aid of an explosive substance particularly various types of ancient and medieval siege engines.The name is the Latinized… …   Wikipedia

  • catapult — {{11}}catapult (n.) 1570s, from M.Fr. catapulte, from L. catapulta war machine for throwing, from Gk. katapeltes, from kata against (see CATA (Cf. cata )) + base of pallein to toss, hurl. {{12}}catapult (v.) 1848, from CATAPULT (Cf. catapult)… …   Etymology dictionary

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