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ballista

[buh-lis-tuh] /bəˈlɪs tə/
noun, plural ballistae
[buh-lis-tee] /bəˈlɪs ti/ (Show IPA)
1.
an ancient military engine for throwing stones or other missiles.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Latin, probably < Greek *ballistā́s, dialectal variant of *ballistḗs, equivalent to báll(ein) to throw + -istēs -ist
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ballista
  • With the invention of torsion spring bundle technology, the first ballista was built.
British Dictionary definitions for ballista

ballista

/bəˈlɪstə/
noun (pl) -tae (-tiː)
1.
an ancient catapult for hurling stones, etc
2.
an ancient form of large crossbow used to propel a spear
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, ultimately from Greek ballein to throw
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
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Word Origin and History for ballista
n.

ancient war engine, late 14c., from Latin ballista, literally "a throwing machine," from Greek ballein "to throw" (see ballistics).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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