or ar·ba·list

[ ahr-buh-list ]
/ ˈɑr bə lɪst /


a powerful medieval crossbow with a steel bow, used to shoot stones, metal balls, arrows, etc.

Nearby words

  1. araxes,
  2. araxá,
  3. araçatuba,
  4. arb,
  5. arba kanfoth,
  6. arbela,
  7. arber,
  8. arber, werner,
  9. arbil,
  10. arbiter

Origin of arbalest

before 1100; < Old French arbaleste < Old Provençal < Late Latin arcuballista (see arc, ballista); replacing Middle English, late Old English arblast < Old French

Related formsar·ba·lest·er, ar·ba·list·er [ahr-buh-lis-ter] /ˈɑr bəˌlɪs tər/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for arbalist

British Dictionary definitions for arbalist



/ (ˈɑːbəlɪst) /


a large medieval crossbow, usually cocked by mechanical means

Word Origin for arbalest

C11: from Old French arbaleste, from Late Latin arcuballista, from Latin arcus bow + ballista

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for arbalist



"crossbow," c.1300, from Old French arbaleste "large crossbow with a crank" (12c., Modern French arbalète), from Vulgar Latin arbalista, from Late Latin arcuballista "catapult," from Latin arcus "bow" (see arc (n.)) + ballista "machine for throwing projectiles" (see ballistic). German armbrust is from the same French word but mangled by folk etymology.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper