spear-thrower

[ speer-throh-er ]
/ ˈspɪərˌθroʊ ər /

noun Anthropology.

a flexible device for launching a spear, usually a short cord wound around the spear so that when thrown the weapon will rotate in the air.
Also called atlatl. a rigid device for increasing the speed and distance of a spear when thrown, usually a flat wooden stick with a handhold and a peg or socket to accommodate the butt end of the spear.

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Origin of spear-thrower

First recorded in 1870–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for spear-thrower

  • Are the spear-thrower and the bull-roarer inevitably thought of as alive?

    Anthropology|Robert Marett
  • Spears and wooden clubs are universal, and the use of the spear-thrower is generally distributed.

    Man, Past and Present|Agustus Henry Keane
  • But it is quite otherwise with his spear-thrower or his bull-roarer.

    Anthropology|Robert Marett