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spear-thrower

[speer-throh-er] /ˈspɪərˌθroʊ ər/
noun, Anthropology
1.
a flexible device for launching a spear, usually a short cord wound around the spear so that when thrown the weapon will rotate in the air.
2.
Also called atlatl. a rigid device for increasing the speed and distance of a spear when thrown, usually a flat wooden stick with a handhold and a peg or socket to accommodate the butt end of the spear.
Origin
1870-1875
1870-75
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for spear-thrower
  • The day will also include fun family activities such as the chance to try your hand at using an ancient spear-thrower.
Encyclopedia Article for spear-thrower

atlatl

a device for throwing a spear (or dart) usually consisting of a rod or board with a groove on the upper surface and a hook, thong, or projection at the rear end to hold the weapon in place until its release. Its purpose is to give greater velocity and force to the spear. In use from prehistoric times, the spear-thrower was used to efficiently fell animals as large as the mammoth.

Learn more about atlatl with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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7
8
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