• WordNet 3.6
    • v catapult hurl as if with a sling
    • v catapult shoot forth or launch, as if from a catapult "the enemy catapulted rocks towards the fort"
    • n catapult an engine that provided medieval artillery used during sieges; a heavy war engine for hurling large stones and other missiles
    • n catapult a device that launches aircraft from a warship
    • n catapult a plaything consisting of a Y-shaped stick with elastic between the arms; used to propel small stones
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Before he catapulted to fame, Bob Dylan was paid $50 in 1960 for playing the harmonica on a Harry Belafonte album.
    • Catapult A forked stick with elastic band for throwing small stones, etc.
    • Catapult (Mil. Antiq) An engine somewhat resembling a massive crossbow, used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for throwing stones, arrows, spears, etc.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n catapult In Roman antiquity, a military engine used to throw darts of great size, called phalarica or trifax. Its construction is nowhere explained with any fullness, and it is uncertain whether its action was that of a crossbow or whether springs were the propelling power. By later authors the catapult and ballista seem to be confounded. In the middle ages the name is hardly used, except where a writer is evidently seeking to give a classical form to his composition. In the annexed cut, which represents a catapult of the later period when no distinction was made between it and the ballista, F is the end of a strong lever, which revolves on an axis and is held down by a windlass, A. At the extremity is a fork, E E, with the prongs curving slightly upward so as to afford a bed for a barrel of combustible matter or a heavy missile confined by a rope with a loop at the end, the loop being passed through a hook, D. When the lever was released it bounded suddenly upward, the centrifugal force causing the loop C to slip off the hook, whereupon the barrel held on the fork was liberated and projected toward its object. B shows rings of iron, stone, or lead, intended to increase the rebound due to the stretched cables or other devices which furnished the propelling force.
    • n catapult A small forked stick to each prong of which is attached an elastic band, generally provided with a piece of leather in the middle, used by boys for throwing small missiles, such as stones, peas, paper pellets, and the like.
    • catapult To hurl, as a missile, as from a catapult.
    • catapult To shoot at with a catapult: as, to catapult birds.
    • catapult To use a catapult in hurling missiles.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Catapult kat′a-pult anciently an engine of war, resembling the ballista, for throwing stones, arrows, &c.: a small forked stick having an elastic string fixed to the two prongs, used by boys for throwing small stones
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. catapulta, Gr. , prob. from kata` down + to shake, hurl
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. catapulta—Gr. katapeltēskata, down, pallein, to throw.


In literature:

The other man, even shorter, but slimmer, sauntered out of a bed of milkweed whither he had been catapulted.
"The Dark Star" by Robert W. Chambers
That's where you killed your first rabbit ... with a catapult!
"The Frontier" by Maurice LeBlanc
As he hesitated, the huge man drew back his arm and threw the dagger with the force of a catapult.
"The Saracen: Land of the Infidel" by Robert Shea
The horse catapulted forward instantly, throwing Daoud back against his saddle.
"The Saracen: The Holy War" by Robert Shea
It was 9 P. M. when I catapulted from the little stage of Long Island airport.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science September 1930" by Various
Yet another sort of projectile took the form of an incendiary bomb or shell which was discharged noiselessly, possibly from a catapult.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume IV (of 8)"
His mind went catapulting back into the past to the time when he had been Manape.
"The Mind Master" by Arthur J. Burks
Shultberger, pulling himself up to his knees, his face and mouth gory from the catapult's stroke, moaned with agony as he clawed blindly.
"Traffic in Souls" by Eustace Hale Ball
He shot out as if he had been heaved by a catapult.
"The O'Ruddy" by Stephen Crane
The force catapulted me across the space of the room like a volplane.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, March 1930" by Various

In poetry:

The Merman sank - the Captain too
Jumped overboard, and dropped from view
Like stone from catapult;
And when he reached the Merman's lair,
He certainly was welcomed there,
But, ah! with what result?
"The Captain and the Mermaids" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Night black and chill, wind gathering still,
With its wail in the turret tall,
And its headlong blast like a catapult cast
On the crest of the outer wall,
And its hail and rain on the crashing pane,
Till the glassy splinters fall.
"Fauconshawe" by Adam Lindsay Gordon

In news:

A church, a mine shaft, gazebo, gardens, water pump and water wheel, two catapults and about two dozen steel ball tracks.
One of the WTA's rising stars, Sabine Lisicki rallied from an injury-plagued 2010 season to catapult herself to a Top 20 ranking.
Just a few coarse crystals of sea salt catapult the intense rich flavor of these dark chocolate cookies into a new realm.
Authorities say despite the couple being catapulted nearly 200 feet through the air by the storm, the child survived because her mother acted as a shield when they hit the ground.
Navy has catapulted the bat -winged X-47B drone into flight.
In 2009, "The Hangover" grossed $467 million worldwide, catapulting Zach Galifianakis from eccentric sidekick to eccentric sidekick on a marquee level.
Kettenbach's Panasil given high marks in the benchmark by Catapult Group.
Back in 1962, the first Bond movie, "Dr. No," was released, catapulting Sean Connery to international stardom.
Rozenek, Buckeye 's hard-working senior post, came within a point of matching the school scoring record, but it was the 14 consecutive points he scored in a first-half stretch catapulted the Panthers to their first win of the season.
World- caliber pumpkin catapult headed to annual fall festival.
Last week, the Catholic Church in Ireland was unceremoniously catapulted into the news headlines by yet another report that detailed its shameful involvement in child abuse.
The US TV show, which ran from 1998 until 2003, was a success around the globe and catapulted Jackson into the spotlight along with Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams and James Van Der Beek.
The shocking hate-based attempted murders of two Mexican day laborers catapult a small Long Island town into national headlines, unmasking a new front line in the border wars: suburbia.
Some fantastic freshmen have helped catapult the Cal Poly women's soccer team into first place in the Big West Conference.
It sounds like a tough sell: a game that involves catapulting birds at elaborate fortresses constructed by evil pigs.

In science:

Recently, Mentor has introduced its own C-to-gates compiler, Catapult-C1 but it is too early to evaluate its impact.
Function Interface Models for Hardware Compilation: Types, Signatures, Protocols
Catapult C and a score of other commercial compilers are difficult to asses.
Function Interface Models for Hardware Compilation: Types, Signatures, Protocols
The latter could catapult particles far from their host galaxy by two body encounters.
Jet-regulated cooling catastrophe
Research in astronomy within India has increased substantially over the last two decades, catapulted by growing public awareness about the sub ject, and efforts of a number of amateur astronomy groups in several towns and cities.
India's tryst with modern astronomy