[treb-yoo-shet, treb-yoo-shet]


a medieval engine of war with a sling for hurling missiles.

Also tre·buck·et [tree-buhk-it, treb-yoo-ket] /ˈtriˌbʌk ɪt, ˌtrɛb yʊˈkɛt/.

Origin of trebuchet

1300–50; Middle English < Middle French, equivalent to trebuch(er) to overturn, fall (tre(s) across, over (< Latin trāns- trans-) + buc trunk of body < Germanic; compare Old English būc belly) + -et -et Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trebuchet

Historical Examples of trebuchet

  • The trebuchet was a much later invented machine than the catapult, and, being built on a much larger scale, was more powerful.

    The Boy Craftsman

    A. Neely Hall

  • The trebuchet was another war machine used extensively during the Middle Ages.

  • Another variety of the trebuchet was the Biblia or Bible; but its distinctive character has not been ascertained.

  • By this means it throws with more exactness than the biffa, and to a greater distance than the trebuchet.

  • Such was the principle of the "trebuchet," the enormous engines which carried devastation and destruction to medieval castles.

    British Castles

    Charles H. Ashdown

British Dictionary definitions for trebuchet


trebucket (ˈtriːbʌkɪt)


a large medieval siege engine for hurling missiles consisting of a sling on a pivoted wooden arm set in motion by the fall of a weight

Word Origin for trebuchet

C13: from Old French, from trebuchier to stumble, from tre- trans- + -buchier, from buc trunk of the body, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German būh belly, Old English buc
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 trebuchet

"medieval stone-throwing engine of war," c.1300 (in Anglo-Latin from early 13c.), from Old French trebuchet (12c.) "siege engine," from trabucher "to overturn, overthrow" (11c.), from tra- (from Latin trans-, here expressing "displacement") + Old French buc "trunk, bulk," from West Germanic *buh- (cf. German bauch "belly").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper