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javelin

[jav-lin, jav-uh-] /ˈdʒæv lɪn, ˈdʒæv ə-/
noun
1.
a light spear, usually thrown by hand.
2.
Track.
  1. a spearlike shaft about 8½ feet (2.7 meters) long and usually made of wood, used in throwing for distance.
  2. Also called javelin throw. a competitive field event in which the javelin is thrown for distance.
verb (used with object)
3.
to strike or pierce with or as if with a javelin.
Origin
1505-1515
1505-15; < Middle French javeline, by suffix alteration from javelot, Anglo-French gavelot, gaveloc, probably < Old English gafeluc, *gafelocBritish Celtic *gablākos presumably, a spear with a forklike head; compare MIr gablach forked branch, javelin, MWelsh gaflach (apparently < OIr), derivative of Old Irish gabul fork, forked branch, cognate with Old Breton gabl, Welsh gafl
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for javelin
  • Her right hand bore for its weapon not a javelin, but a pruning-knife.
  • We will have chariot races, javelin air balloon races, and a race to complete a puzzle.
British Dictionary definitions for javelin

javelin

/ˈdʒævlɪn/
noun
1.
a long pointed spear thrown as a weapon or in competitive field events
2.
the javelin, the event or sport of throwing the javelin
Word Origin
C16: from Old French javeline, variant of javelot, of Celtic origin
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 javelin
n.

late 15c., from Middle French javeline (15c.), fem. diminutive of Old French javelot "a spear," probably from Gaulish (cf. Old Irish gabul "fork;" Welsh gafl "fork," gaflach "feathered spear"), ultimately from PIE *ghabholo- "a fork, branch of a tree." Also found in Italian (giavelotto) and Middle High German (gabilot). Javelot also was borrowed in Middle English, but this is the form of the word that has endured.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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javelin in the Bible

(1.) Heb. hanith, a lance, from its flexibility (1 Sam. 18:10, 11; 19:9, 10; 20:33). (2.) Heb. romah, a lance for heavy-armed troops, so called from its piercing (Num. 25:7). (See ARMS.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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17
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