• synonyms


[kat-uh-puhlt, -poolt]
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  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.
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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.
  3. British.
    1. to hurl (a missile) from a slingshot.
    2. to hit (an object) with a missile from a slingshot.
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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.
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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

Synonyms for catapult

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for catapulted

fire, execute, murder, hit, launch, explode, kill, hurl, blast, catapult, rocket, escalate, rise, zoom, lob, fling, dangle, hoist, heave, thrust

Examples from the Web for catapulted

Contemporary Examples of catapulted

Historical Examples of catapulted

British Dictionary definitions for catapulted


  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, etcUS and Canadian name: slingshot
  2. a heavy war engine used formerly for hurling stones, etc
  3. a device installed in warships to launch aircraft
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  1. (tr) to shoot forth from or as if from a catapult
  2. (foll by over, into, etc) to move precipitatelyshe was catapulted to stardom overnight
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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 catapulted



1848, "to throw with a catapult," from catapult (n.). Intransitive sense by 1928. Related: Catapulted; catapulting.

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1570s, from Middle French catapulte and directly from Latin catapulta "war machine for throwing," from Greek katapeltes, from kata "against" (see cata-) + base of pallein "to toss, hurl" (see pulse (n.1)). As an airplane-launching device on an aircraft-carrier by 1927.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper