View synonyms for catapult


[ kat-uh-puhlt, -poolt ]


  1. an ancient military engine for hurling stones, arrows, etc.
  2. a device for launching an airplane from the deck of a ship.
  3. British. a slingshot.

verb (used with object)

  1. to hurl from a catapult.
  2. to thrust or move quickly or suddenly:

    His brilliant performance in the play catapulted him to stardom.

    Synonyms: shoot, pitch, propel, fling, throw

  3. British.
    1. to hurl (a missile) from a slingshot.
    2. to hit (an object) with a missile from a slingshot.

verb (used without object)

  1. to be catapulted.
  2. to move or spring up suddenly, quickly, or forcibly, as if by means of a catapult:

    The car catapulted down the highway. When he heard the alarm he catapulted out of bed.


/ ˈkætəˌpʌlt /


  1. a Y-shaped implement with a loop of elastic fastened to the ends of the two prongs, used mainly by children for shooting small stones, etc US and Canadian nameslingshot
  2. a heavy war engine used formerly for hurling stones, etc
  3. a device installed in warships to launch aircraft


  1. tr to shoot forth from or as if from a catapult
  2. foll byover, into, etc to move precipitately

    she was catapulted to stardom overnight

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Other Words From

  • cata·pultic adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of catapult1

1570–80; < Latin catapulta < Greek katapéltēs, equivalent to kata- cata- + péltēs hurler, akin to pállein to hurl

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Word History and Origins

Origin of catapult1

C16: from Latin catapulta, from Greek katapeltēs, from kata- down + pallein to hurl

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Example Sentences

Adam Kovacevich was representing big tech back when big tech was still mostly-celebrated as a catapult to America’s innovative economic future.

From Digiday

The Tatmadaw is a twisted and archaic Goliath and, despite their lack of firepower I do believe that this time the Burmese people—who, like David, are literally armed with catapults—will win and topple the dictatorship once and for all.

From Time

The Bucks tried to take a battering ram to the wall their opponents built around the basket in those two series, only to end up settling for a catapult instead.

The 522 snap-together parts in Ubtech’s Jimu Competitive Series ChampBot Kit combine to create three different configurations, including this catapult.

You might not be able to toss huge stones, but you can build a catapult to throw a marshmallow or two.

We had live chickens and I was trying to shoot them from a real-life catapult into painted green pigs in boxes.

But it was enough to catapult Davis into the national spotlight and raise immediate speculation about statewide office.

But then you find yourself with the revenue to purchase that catapult you've been wanting.

You think that this tragedy has given you an opportunity to catapult you [sic] dinky blog and newspaper to new heights.

Then, the German loan would catapult him to ignominy, not fame.

They had rigged up a rude catapult from some lumber and ropes.

Poof—crack—bang, went off another explosion; and up bounced Old Hellyer, as if a catapult had been applied below his seat.

Through they went and half-way across the bridge before they could check their monster catapult.

The throng of pirates had cleared away from the great wooden catapult, leaving two of their number to discharge it.

A stone from a catapult in the tower came whizzing and struck his head with a mournful crash.


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