catapult

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cat·a·pult / ˈkatəˌpəlt; -ˌpoŏlt/ • n. a device in which accumulated tension is suddenly released to hurl an object some distance, in particular: ∎  hist. a military machine worked by a lever and ropes for hurling large stones or other missiles. ∎  a mechanical device for launching a glider or other aircraft, esp. from the deck of a ship. • v. [tr.] hurl or launch (something) in a specified direction with or as if with a catapult: their music catapulted them to the top of the charts. ∎  [intr.] move suddenly or at great speed as though hurled by a catapult: the horse catapulted away from the fence.

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catapult (mil.) missile engine XVI; shooting instrument consisting of a forked stick with elastic band XIX. — (O)F. catapulte or L. catapulta — Gr. katapéltēs, f. CATA- 1 + *pel-, var. base of pállein hurl.