javelin

[ jav-lin, jav-uh- ]
/ ˈdʒæv lɪn, ˈdʒæv ə- /

noun

a light spear, usually thrown by hand.
Track.
  1. a spearlike shaft about 8½ feet (2.7 meters) long and usually made of wood, used in throwing for distance.
  2. Also called javelin throw. a competitive field event in which the javelin is thrown for distance.

verb (used with object)

to strike or pierce with or as if with a javelin.

RELATED WORDS

Origin of javelin

1505–15; < Middle French javeline, by suffix alteration from javelot, Anglo-French gavelot, gaveloc, probably < Old English gafeluc, *gafelocBritish Celtic *gablākos presumably, a spear with a forklike head; compare MIr gablach forked branch, javelin, MWelsh gaflach (apparently < OIr), derivative of Old Irish gabul fork, forked branch, cognate with Old Breton gabl, Welsh gafl
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for javelin

British Dictionary definitions for javelin

javelin

/ (ˈdʒævlɪn) /

noun

a long pointed spear thrown as a weapon or in competitive field events
the javelin the event or sport of throwing the javelin

Word Origin for javelin

C16: from Old French javeline, variant of javelot, of Celtic origin
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 javelin

javelin


n.

late 15c., from Middle French javeline (15c.), fem. diminutive of Old French javelot "a spear," probably from Gaulish (cf. Old Irish gabul "fork;" Welsh gafl "fork," gaflach "feathered spear"), ultimately from PIE *ghabholo- "a fork, branch of a tree." Also found in Italian (giavelotto) and Middle High German (gabilot). Javelot also was borrowed in Middle English, but this is the form of the word that has endured.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper