cat·a·pult [ˈkadəˌpəlt]


  1. A device in which accumulated tension is suddenly released to hurl an object some distance, in particular.
    • A military machine worked by a lever and ropes for hurling large stones or other missiles.
      “The knights of the old age used a catapult to assault the walls of the enemy castle.”
    • A mechanical device for launching a glider or other aircraft, especially from the deck of a ship.
      “The catapult was bolted onto the deck of the air craft carrier.”
    • A slingshot.
      “Jimmy, get the catapult and we'll kill this cat yet!”

See Also: Trebuchet, Arbalest, Ballista


  1. Hurl or launch (something) in a specified direction with or as if with a catapult.
    “The plane was refueled and catapulted back into the air again.”
    • Move suddenly or at great speed as though hurled by a catapult.
      “The stallion catapulted away from the nearby gunshot.”

Origin: late 16th century: from French catapulte or Latin catapulta, from Greek katapeltēs, from kata- ‘down’ + pallein ‘hurl.’

See Also: Propel, Launch, Hurl, Fling