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.

Origin of spear-thrower

First recorded in 1870–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spear-thrower

Historical Examples of spear-thrower

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


    Robert Marett

  • But it is quite otherwise with his spear-thrower or his bull-roarer.


    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