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caltrop

[kal-truh p] /ˈkæl trəp/
noun
1.
any of several plants having spiny heads or fruit, as those of the genera Tribulus and Kallstroemia, or the star thistle, Centaurea calcitrapa.
2.
an iron ball with four projecting spikes so disposed that when the ball is on the ground one of them always points upward: used to obstruct the passage of cavalry, armored vehicles, etc.
Also, calthrop
[kal-thruh p] /ˈkæl θrəp/ (Show IPA),
caltrap.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English calketrappe, Old English calcatrippe, colte-træppe, equivalent to calce- (< Latin calci-, stem of calx spur, heel) + træppe trap1
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for caltrap

caltrop

/ˈkæltrəp/
noun
1.
any tropical or subtropical plant of the zygophyllaceous genera Tribulus and Kallstroemia that have spiny burs or bracts
2.
water caltrop, another name for water chestnut (sense 1)
3.
another name for the star thistle
4.
(military) a four-spiked iron ball or four joined spikes laid upon the ground as a device to lame cavalry horses, puncture tyres, etc
Word Origin
Old English calcatrippe (the plant), from Medieval Latin calcatrippa, probably from Latin calx heel + trippatrap1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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