noun (plural ballistae /-tē/ or ballistas)
1A catapult used in ancient warfare for hurling large stones.
- The two types of siege weapons were catapults and ballistae, with catapults being the predecessor (Iannuzzo).
- The player can use catapults, battering rams, ballistas and ancient ‘elevators’.
- Caesar covered his landing in Britain with catapults and ballistas.
1.1A large crossbow for firing a spear.
- Nadia spotted a group of men hauling out a huge ballista, a gigantic crossbow on wheels.
- The ballista was, in essence, a giant crossbow.
- With the ballistae, however, they hoped to launch flaming spears into the sails of their enemy, slowing them down.
Early 16th century: from Latin, based on Greek ballein 'to throw'.
Words that rhyme with ballistaassister, bistre (US bister), blister, enlister, glister, lister, mister, resistor, Sandinista, sister, transistor, tryster, twister, vista
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