[ kat-uh-puhlt, -poolt ]
/ ˈkæt əˌpʌlt, -ˌpʊlt /


verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to be catapulted.
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.

Nearby words

  1. cataplane,
  2. cataplasia,
  3. cataplasm,
  4. cataplectic,
  5. cataplexy,
  6. cataract,
  7. cataractogenic,
  8. catarrh,
  9. catarrhal fever,
  10. catarrhal gastritis

Origin of catapult

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

Related formscat·a·pul·tic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for catapult

British Dictionary definitions for catapult


/ (ˈkætəˌpʌlt) /


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, etcUS and Canadian name: slingshot
a heavy war engine used formerly for hurling stones, etc
a device installed in warships to launch aircraft


(tr) to shoot forth from or as if from a catapult
(foll by over, into, etc) to move precipitatelyshe was catapulted to stardom overnight

Word Origin for catapult

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

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 catapult
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper