- an ancient military engine for hurling stones, arrows, etc.
- a device for launching an airplane from the deck of a ship.
- British. a slingshot.
verb (used with object)
- to hurl from a catapult.
- to thrust or move quickly or suddenly: His brilliant performance in the play catapulted him to stardom.
- to hurl (a missile) from a slingshot.
- to hit (an object) with a missile from a slingshot.
verb (used without object)
- to be catapulted.
- 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.
- 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, etcUS and Canadian name: slingshot
- a heavy war engine used formerly for hurling stones, etc
- a device installed in warships to launch aircraft
- (tr) to shoot forth from or as if from a catapult
- (foll by over, into, etc) to move precipitatelyshe was catapulted to stardom overnight
1848, “to throw with a catapult,” from catapult (n.). Intransitive sense by 1928. Related: Catapulted; catapulting.
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.