Definition of slingshot in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsliNGˌSHät/


Image of slingshot
1chiefly North American A forked stick, to which an elastic strap (or a pair of elastic bands connected by a small sling) is fastened to the two prongs, typically used for shooting small stones.
Example sentences
  • When Lamberton first moved to the desert at age ten, he says, he took pleasure in impaling whiptail lizards, or stoning songbirds with his slingshot.
  • The black hole probably flung the star outward, like a stone from a slingshot, the scientists said in a news statement released today.
  • Adam had sent Hoss to collect stones for his slingshot while he had taken care of killing and bagging the animals.
1.1 [often as modifier] The effect of the gravitational pull of a celestial body in accelerating and changing the course of another body or a spacecraft.
Example sentences
  • They are only one unpredictable gravitational slingshot away from a collision course.
  • It uses a combination of Lorentz Force turning and gravitational slingshot (if feasible) to alter its trajectory so that it passes by a number of stars in succession, finally returning to Earth to begin the cycle again.
  • Another study, made early in 2003, suggested that a close encounter between the second and third star, acting as a kind of gravitational slingshot, had hurled the third star out of the system.

verb (slingshots, slingshotting; past and past participle slingshot or slingshotted)

Forcefully accelerate or cause to accelerate through use of gravity: [no object]: the car would hit the first dip, then slingshot off the second rise [with object]: Jupiter’s gravity slingshots the fragments toward Earth
More example sentences
  • If they could launch a manned rocket that simply slingshotted around the moon and back, they could claim that at least in some pathetic way that they beat the Americans.
  • On the final turn of the race, JJ took the high-line and slingshotted out of Turn 4.
  • If we extend the path of travel by about five thousand kilometers and continue on double light, not triple, the gravity will help slingshot us around.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sling·shot

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