catapult[kat′ə pult′, -po̵olt′]
Two examples of medieval catapults.
- The definition of a catapult is a military machine or other device that launches something with great force.
A machine that can hurl something a far distance with great force is an example of a catapult.
- To catapult is defined as to forcefully throw something.
When you forcefully throw your book across the room, this is an example of a time when you catapult the book across the room.
- an ancient military contrivance powered by either torsion or tension used for throwing or shooting stones, spears, etc.
- Brit. a slingshot
- a type of launcher that provides the force to hurl an airplane, missile, etc. from a deck or ramp to provide an initial high speed
- a device for ejecting a person from an airplane
Origin of catapultClassical Latin catapulta ; from Classical Greek katapeltēs ; from kata-, down, against + base of pallein, to toss, hurl
- Any of various military machines used for hurling missiles, such as large stones or spears, in ancient and medieval times.
- A mechanism for launching aircraft at a speed sufficient for flight, as from the deck of a carrier.
- A slingshot.
verbcat·a·pult·ed, cat·a·pult·ing, cat·a·pults
- To hurl or launch from a catapult.
- To hurl or launch by means other than a catapult: The blast catapulted bricks across the street.
- To bring suddenly into prominence: The film catapulted her into fame.
- To be catapulted or hurled: The rider catapulted over the handlebars.
- To jump or spring: She catapulted over the gate.
Origin of catapultFrench catapulte, from Old French, from Latin catapulta, from Greek katapaltēs : kata-, cata- + pallein, to brandish, poise a weapon before hurling; see pāl- in Indo-European roots.
(plural catapultæ or catapults)
(third-person singular simple present catapults, present participle catapulting, simple past and past participle catapulted)
- To fire a missile from a catapult.
- To fire or launch something, as if from a catapult.
- To increase the status of something rapidly.
- The candidate selection for running mate has catapulted her to the national scene.
- (intransitive) To be fired from a catapult or as if from a catapult.
- (intransitive) To have one's status increased rapidly.
- She catapulted to the national scene following her selection by the candidate.
From Middle French catapulte, from Latin catapulta, from Ancient Greek καταπέλτης (katapeltēs), from κατά (kata, “downwards, into, against”) + πάλλω (pallō, “I poise or sway a missile before it is thrown”).
- plural form of catapult