One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural ballistas, Plural ballistae
1A catapult used in ancient warfare for hurling large stones.
- ‘Another was a hover tank chassis with a ballista mounted on top.’
- ‘Mom and Dad hurried to the hallway, leaving my brother and me to engage in covert anarchy, spoons engaged as shiny ballistae.’
- ‘Torsion and counterpoise engines of war - ballistae and trebuchets - could be made in situ with local materials - timber and fibre.’
- ‘It was during an unfortunate incident that involved a ballista.’
- ‘The two types of siege weapons were catapults and ballistae, with catapults being the predecessor (Iannuzzo).’
- ‘Nothing is more satisfying than wheeling a ballista over and taking down their garrison.’
- ‘Gone are the automated ballistae and arrow towers from Heroes of Might and Magic III.’
- ‘I watched a ballista being fired and was impressed by the sheer power and accuracy.’
- ‘Others set up massive ballistae some distance from the defenders, and began pelting them with heavy bolts of solid iron.’
- ‘Caesar covered his landing in Britain with catapults and ballistas.’
- ‘The words shot from his mouth like stones from a ballista.’
- ‘If we try to attack the Canines at a range, then they run at us before we can adjust our bows, ballista, or catapults sights.’
- ‘The player can use catapults, battering rams, ballistas and ancient ‘elevators’.’
- ‘Watch out for stray ballista bolts, javelins etc, and avoid all the experimental kilns as they tend to explode.’
- ‘Elven archers and Republic ballistas that fired masses of mid-size rocks to bombard an area inflicted all the damage they could on the enemy ranged fighters.’
- ‘Catapults of the Middle Ages were divided into two major groups: ballistas, and trebuchets.’
- ‘Unconventional contrivances and machina arcana include a range of desktop siege weapons including miniature trebuchets, ballistae, and mangonels.’
- ‘It was more of a fortress, with ballistae and cannons ruling the top, and bridges, which connected the five towers.’
- ‘The parapets of the tower lined with ancient ballista, pots of boiling oil, and Vulcan AA cannon.’
- ‘The pirates were closing; the ballista was being cranked and reloaded.’
- 1.1 A large crossbow used in ancient warfare for firing a spear.
- ‘The ballista was, in essence, a giant crossbow.’
- ‘Using the spikes of his ballista, all tied up into a belt, Ryud holstered it up to his shoulders, intending it to shield his charge.’
- ‘Nadia spotted a group of men hauling out a huge ballista, a gigantic crossbow on wheels.’
- ‘Using this momentary respite, I wrenched the sword blade from the ballistae.’
- ‘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’.
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