Definition of slingshot in English:



North American
  • 1A 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.

    • ‘The winner will receive a lifetime supply of slingshot ammunition!’
    • ‘Ash's slingshot didn't need to be hidden; they were common weapons that didn't need to be feared unless all commoners find out how to charge rocks so that they explode on impact.’
    • ‘Adam had sent Hoss to collect stones for his slingshot while he had taken care of killing and bagging the animals.’
    • ‘The Terrible Two learned to steer clear of our property when Papa brought home a wicked looking slingshot with a wrist brace and a bag of lead balls.’
    • ‘David goes out to meet Goliath without sword or armor, only with his slingshot and a few stones, and his deep abiding faith in God.’
    • ‘Tatjiana lifted her electric-infused slingshot, held onto the rubber bands, and drew back her arm as far as she could.’
    • ‘In his hand he held a small home made wooden slingshot.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘It's a type of slingshot, A'senti,’ he corrected her.’
    • ‘The black hole probably flung the star outward, like a stone from a slingshot, the scientists said in a news statement released today.’
    • ‘I wouldn't have done that if you hadn't broken Jesse's water bottle over me using Ash's slingshot!’
    • ‘The two boys took the small bow, dull arrows and slingshot.’
    • ‘On Friday last week the Centre had to have seven large windows repaired at a cost of $2,000 after a stone and slingshot raid by vandals.’
    • ‘‘One of the tower guards was shooting prisoners with lead balls and slingshot,’ a company commander testified.’
    1. 1.1often as modifier The effect of the gravitational pull of a celestial body in accelerating and changing the course of another body or a spacecraft.
      • ‘Perhaps fresh calculations are in order, to consider possibilities other than those provided by a Mars / Jupiter slingshot.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘With a slingshot gravity assist from Jupiter, the probe could get to our littlest, strangest planet in 15 years.’
      • ‘They are only one unpredictable gravitational slingshot away from a collision course.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


  • 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’
    • ‘You'll practice rigging, flying on land, launching in Pamlico Sound, and bailing out when a sudden gust slingshots you toward a pier.’
    • ‘It wasn't the smartest move to slingshot around a black hole, although it had been done countless times before.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On the final turn of the race, JJ took the high-line and slingshotted out of Turn 4.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’