- a light spear, usually thrown by hand.
- 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.
- a long pointed spear thrown as a weapon or in competitive field events
- the javelin the event or sport of throwing the javelin
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.