Definition of arbalest in English:


(also arblast)


  • A crossbow with a special mechanism for drawing back and releasing the string.

    • ‘A crossbow device, larger than an arbalest but smaller than a ballista, was called a scorpion.’
    • ‘However he saw several light arbalests being set up, aimed at the tower.’
    • ‘There was a shout of triumph as the carpenters struggling with the recalcitrant arbalest finally managed to string the bow.’
    • ‘Bahzell unloaded the arbalest and released the string with a snap while he waded through the grass.’
    • ‘The only things that were in decent repair were the few arbalest and catapults, mainly maintained, I suspected, for show.’


Old English arblast, from Old French arbaleste, from late Latin arcubalista, from Latin arcus ‘bow’ + ballista (see ballista).