Definition of slingshot in English:

slingshot

noun

  • 1North American A handheld catapult.

    • ‘Clearly warfare conducted through massive land armies, battering rams, javelins and slingshots has little technically in common with warfare today.’
    • ‘Boys are skillful with slingshots and blowguns in hunting small birds.’
    • ‘One of the highlights of the festival was the traditional slingshot shooting competition.’
    • ‘The handful of remaining officers were vastly outnumbered by fighters wielding machetes, swords, slingshots, bows and arrows.’
    • ‘They should even face strict controls on slingshots, air pistols, and lawn darts, too.’
    • ‘Mr McGrath says the rocks thrown at the beginning of the attack seemed to have been lobbed by hand, but the one that hit him appeared to have been fired from a slingshot.’
    • ‘He pulled out his slingshot and loaded it with a crab apple, and took aim at Parsons' broad back.’
    • ‘They offer youth, adult and competitive air rifles, air pistols, accessories, slingshots and Winchester air rifles.’
    • ‘Traditional games and competitions in this year's event will include water boxing, a slingshot contest, sack races and a form of snakes and ladders.’
    • ‘Although my ‘dad’ doesn't hunt anymore, he still has the weaponry, namely, a slingshot.’
    • ‘Around lay many weapons, everything from slingshots to swords.’
    • ‘Reaching to his belt, Hawk pulled out a slingshot and some flat river pebbles from a pouch.’
    • ‘Children specialize in scaring birds from cornfields with slingshots, fetching water, and carrying a hot lunch from home to their fathers and brothers in the field.’
    • ‘In the worst case, protesters on April 10 targeted police with gas bombs and slingshots, leading to clashes which left more than 140 injured.’
    • ‘Both boys have slingshots for weapons, which they fashioned from belts and string.’
    • ‘Some of those arrested were in possession of weapons, including slingshots, knives, gas cans and stones.’
    • ‘A villager who has hitch-hiked a lift with us whips out his slingshot, aiming for the kites.’
    • ‘Having a weapon in school, meant being caught with a slingshot.’
    • ‘I've hunted successfully with ‘stick’ bows, blowguns, boomerangs, and slingshots.’
    • ‘In response, Savage and her team started a program where children could trade in their slingshots for a stuffed animal of the cottontop tamarin.’
    catapult, slingshot
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A shot from a handheld catapult:
      ‘you'll get whizzed out the window like a slingshot’
      • ‘And every time, as the Romans fell back on the column, the Jews returned to resume the barrage of javelins and slingshot.’
      • ‘The complex would offer visitors the chance to slide down the Tower of Babel before climbing aboard Noah's Ark, parting the Red Sea and felling Goliath with a laser-guided slingshot.’
      • ‘A near-capacity 8,500 supporters gathered to see David aim his slingshots at Goliath.’
  • 2[mass noun], [often as modifier] The effect of the gravitational pull of a celestial object in accelerating and changing the course of another object or a spacecraft:

    ‘stars passing near a black hole might be ejected by a gravitational slingshot effect’
    • ‘They are only one unpredictable gravitational slingshot away from a collision course.’
    • ‘At the end of 1990, the speeding Galileo carried out another slingshot maneuver, this time involving the Earth, and entered an orbit that will bring it back for a second slingshot past the Earth some two years later.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Of particular interest to me was his discussion of the chaotic motion of the planetary orbits and of the slingshot effect that can give spacecraft a planetary boost.’
    • ‘If you take a stronger gravity source the curve becomes greater until at some point you get a slingshot effect, where the moving object approaches, bends round the planet and shoots off into space again.’
    • ‘Perhaps fresh calculations are in order, to consider possibilities other than those provided by a Mars / Jupiter slingshot.’
    • ‘On each of these three fly-bys, the spacecraft picked up additional speed from the planet in a sort of slingshot fashion, so that by the end of this initial maneuver it had enough speed to make it to Jupiter in free flight.’
    • ‘They have to make use of planetary alignments, or ‘launch windows’, to provide an extra gravitational slingshot effect, helping to catapult them further out into space.’
    • ‘Voyager II was able to exploit its slingshot orbit and visit both Uranus and Neptune, thereby fulfilling the original four-planet mission envisaged by the mission designers all those years ago.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This slingshot trajectory requires the probe to be launched precisely when the planets are in an exact alignment, which if missed would not occur for another 600 years.’
    • ‘With a slingshot gravity assist from Jupiter, the probe could get to our littlest, strangest planet in 15 years.’

verb

  • Forcefully accelerate through the effect of gravity:

    [no object] ‘the car would hit the first dip, then slingshot off the second rise’
    • ‘If the second car tries to slingshot alone in this situation, he often cannot get around the first - as soon as the second swings out to race side by side, the third can catch up, tuck behind the first, and re-establish the draft line.’
    • ‘For the person in the rear, there is a vacuum effect that lets you momentarily go faster than your gearing allows, making it possible to slingshot past the person in front.’
    • ‘It wasn't the smartest move to slingshot around a black hole, although it had been done countless times before.’
    • ‘Launch must happen by 2006 or Jupiter will no longer be in position to slingshot the craft towards Pluto with a gravity assist, and the trip to Pluto will take years longer.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You'll practice rigging, flying on land, launching in Pamlico Sound, and bailing out when a sudden gust slingshots you toward a pier.’
    • ‘We'll accelerate until we're about half a light second from the planet, then we'll cut engines and slingshot around for another boost in speed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One advanced variation has the toes dragged across the floor to slingshot off the floor at the end for a very different angle of delivery, where the first variations are thrust kicks out parallel to the floor.’

Pronunciation:

slingshot

/ˈslɪŋʃɒt/