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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I wouldn't have done that if you hadn't broken Jesse's water bottle over me using Ash's slingshot!’
    • ‘‘One of the tower guards was shooting prisoners with lead balls and slingshot,’ a company commander testified.’
    • ‘In his hand he held a small home made wooden slingshot.’
    • ‘The two boys took the small bow, dull arrows and slingshot.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The black hole probably flung the star outward, like a stone from a slingshot, the scientists said in a news statement released today.’
    • ‘‘It's a type of slingshot, A'senti,’ he corrected her.’
    • ‘Tatjiana lifted her electric-infused slingshot, held onto the rubber bands, and drew back her arm as far as she could.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The winner will receive a lifetime supply of slingshot ammunition!’
    • ‘Adam had sent Hoss to collect stones for his slingshot while he had taken care of killing and bagging the animals.’
    catapult, slingshot
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[often as modifier]The effect of the gravitational pull of a celestial body in accelerating and changing the course of another body or a spacecraft.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They are only one unpredictable gravitational slingshot away from a collision course.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘With a slingshot gravity assist from Jupiter, the probe could get to our littlest, strangest planet in 15 years.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


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