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catapult

[kat-uh-puhlt, -poo lt] /ˈkæt əˌpʌlt, -ˌpʊlt/
noun
1.
an ancient military engine for hurling stones, arrows, etc.
2.
a device for launching an airplane from the deck of a ship.
3.
British. a slingshot.
verb (used with object)
4.
to hurl from a catapult.
5.
to thrust or move quickly or suddenly:
His brilliant performance in the play catapulted him to stardom.
6.
British.
  1. to hurl (a missile) from a slingshot.
  2. to hit (an object) with a missile from a slingshot.
verb (used without object)
7.
to be catapulted.
8.
to move or spring up suddenly, quickly, or forcibly, as if by means of a catapult:
The car catapulted down the highway. When he heard the alarm he catapulted out of bed.
Origin of catapult
1570-1580
1570-80; < Latin catapulta < Greek katapéltēs, equivalent to kata- cata- + péltēs hurler, akin to pállein to hurl
Related forms
catapultic, adjective
Synonyms
5. throw, fling, propel, pitch, shoot.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for catapulted
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Crying out, arms and legs flailing, the Chinaman catapulted toward Krenski—and just at the instant Krenski fired!

  • The word was catapulted from him as though by a muscular convulsion.

    The Harbor of Doubt Frank Williams
  • Their superscience had catapulted him past the war years into the future.

    Restricted Tool Malcolm B. Morehart
  • From frozen mobility Lig-magte had catapulted into headlong attack.

    Planet of the Damned Harry Harrison
  • Scarcely was I poised to strike, when the speeding prow ripped into us, and I was catapulted into the black water.

    The Devil's Own Randall Parrish
British Dictionary definitions for catapulted

catapult

/ˈkætəˌpʌlt/
noun
1.
a Y-shaped implement with a loop of elastic fastened to the ends of the two prongs, used mainly by children for shooting small stones, etc US and Canadian name slingshot
2.
a heavy war engine used formerly for hurling stones, etc
3.
a device installed in warships to launch aircraft
verb
4.
(transitive) to shoot forth from or as if from a catapult
5.
foll by over, into, etc. to move precipitately: she was catapulted to stardom overnight
Word Origin
C16: from Latin catapulta, from Greek katapeltēs, from kata- down + pallein to hurl
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 catapulted

catapult

n.

1570s, from Middle French catapulte and directly from Latin catapulta "war machine for throwing," from Greek katapeltes, from kata "against" (see cata-) + base of pallein "to toss, hurl" (see pulse (n.1)). As an airplane-launching device on an aircraft-carrier by 1927.

v.

1848, "to throw with a catapult," from catapult (n.). Intransitive sense by 1928. Related: Catapulted; catapulting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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