a spearlike shaft about 8½ feet (2.7 meters) long and usually made of wood, used in throwing for distance.
Also called javelin throw.a competitive field event in which the javelin is thrown for distance.
verb (used with object)
to strike or pierce with or as if with a javelin.
Origin: 1505–15; < Middle Frenchjaveline, by suffix alteration from javelot,Anglo-Frenchgavelot, gaveloc, probably < Old Englishgafeluc, *gafeloc ≪ British Celtic*gablākos presumably, a spear with a forklike head; compare MIr gablach forked branch, javelin, MWelsh gaflach (apparently < OIr), derivative of Old Irishgabul fork, forked branch, cognate with Old Bretongabl,Welshgafl
late 15c., from M.Fr. javeline (15c.), fem. dim. of O.Fr. javelot "a spear," probably from Gaulish (cf. O.Ir. gabul "fork;" Welsh gafl "fork," gaflach "feathered spear"). Also found in It. (giavelotto) and M.H.G. (gabilot).