Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


or arbalist

[ahr-buh-list] /ˈɑr bə lɪst/
a powerful medieval crossbow with a steel bow, used to shoot stones, metal balls, arrows, etc.
Origin of arbalest
before 1100; < Old French arbaleste < Old Provençal < Late Latin arcuballista (see arc, ballista); replacing Middle English, late Old English arblast < Old French
Related forms
arbalester, arbalister
[ahr-buh-lis-ter] /ˈɑr bəˌlɪs tər/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for arbalest
Historical Examples
  • His Queries of course have reference to the long bow, and not to the arbalest, or cross-bow.

  • To my mind the long-bow is a better weapon than the arbalest, but it may be ill for me to prove it.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Through an arrow-slit he had watched him take down and examine an arbalest, place it on the table and sit down to write.

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
  • The form of the arbalest of this time may be seen in our woodcut, No. 50.

  • They set out, and the first thing Denys did was to give Gerard his arbalest, etc., and mount a high tree on the road.

  • On this bird, I deemed, he meant to try his skill with the arbalest.

    A Monk of Fife Andrew Lang
  • Holding the arbalest with one hand, Daoud vaulted into the saddle.

  • The arrow of the arbalest is sometimes called vireton, from the French virer, on account of its rotary flight.

  • Then opening a large chest that stood against the wall, he rummaged a moment, and at last withdrew an arbalest quarrel.

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
  • This distinctive form of the arbalest shaft is carefully kept in view in the illumination from Add.

British Dictionary definitions for arbalest


a large medieval crossbow, usually cocked by mechanical means
Word Origin
C11: from Old French arbaleste, from Late Latin arcuballista, from Latin arcus bow + ballista
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for arbalest

"crossbow," c.1300, from Old French arbaleste "large crossbow with a crank" (12c., Modern French arbalète), from Vulgar Latin arbalista, from Late Latin arcuballista "catapult," from Latin arcus "bow" (see arc (n.)) + ballista "machine for throwing projectiles" (see ballistic). German armbrust is from the same French word but mangled by folk etymology.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for arbalest

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for arbalest