Ballista definition

bə-lĭstə
Frequency:
An ancient and medieval engine of warfare, usually having a design similar to a crossbow, used to hurl heavy projectiles.
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A device, resembling a large mounted crossbow, used in ancient warfare to hurl heavy stones and similar missiles.
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An ancient military engine, in the form of a crossbow, used for hurling large missiles.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
ballista
Plural:
ballist, ballistae

Origin of ballista

  • Latin from Greek ballistēs from ballein to throw gwelə- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Latin ballista, from Ancient Greek βαλλίστρα (ballistra), from βάλλω (ballō, “I throw”).

    From Wiktionary