noun (plural ballistae /bəˈlɪstiː/ 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 used in ancient warfare 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
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: bal|lista
Definition of ballista in:
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