Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


n. pl. bal·lis·tae (-tē′)
An ancient and medieval engine of warfare, usually having a design similar to a crossbow, used to hurl heavy projectiles.

[Latin, from Greek ballistēs, from ballein, to throw; see gwelə- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -tae (-tiː)
1. (Arms & Armour (excluding Firearms)) an ancient catapult for hurling stones, etc
2. (Arms & Armour (excluding Firearms)) an ancient form of large crossbow used to propel a spear
[C16: from Latin, ultimately from Greek ballein to throw]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(bəˈlɪs tə)

n., pl. -tae (-tē).
an ancient military engine for throwing stones or other missiles.
[1590–1600; < Latin, probably < Greek *ballistḗs=báll(ein) to throw + -istēs -ist]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ballista - an engine that provided medieval artillery used during siegesballista - an engine that provided medieval artillery used during sieges; a heavy war engine for hurling large stones and other missiles
engine - an instrument or machine that is used in warfare, such as a battering ram, catapult, artillery piece, etc.; "medieval engines of war"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cavalryman Barbaratus and colleagues from the Roma Antiqua reenactment group will demonstrate archery and slingstaff techniques, and show how a ballista artillery catapult works.
In a similar, under $300,000-range are The Wall's Scorpions -- using the Ballista catapults as real-life models, which cost $26,800 per unit, the Scorpions' total cost for 10 would come to $286,000.
The re-enactors ensured activities for children (from spear throwing to Roman artillery military catapults and ballista), along with something for all the family with talks on costumes through the ages, cookery demonstrations, armour repairs and a chance to use Dark Ages weapons with training in axe and spear throwing!
One of the several wonder weapons helping win the day for the legions was the ballista. The ballista used the power of wrapped animal sinew to propel a large spear profound distances.
It is hailed in THETV show as the biggest haul of ballista balls and lead slingshot bullets in the whole of the former Roman Empire.
Finding the source of the Source, though, will have to wait: Cyseal is being battered by an Orc invasion, and only the legendary bravery of the Legion and the wizard Arhu's enchanted ballista are keeping the greenskins at bay.
Plummer, que el habia colectado especimenes de Cladonota apicalis (Stal) (= Sphongophorus ballista) en Piper sp.
Other weapons, including cavalry lances, arrowheads and ballista bolts were also left behind on the barracks floor and their discovery has also generated a bit of a mystery for those at the dig.
With the launch of Live Gamer HD 2, AVerMedia has made its gaming lineup more complete; ranging from console/PC game capturing with Live Gamer Portable 2 (all-purpose plug-and- play capture solution), Live Gamer Portable (USB 2.0 PC and PC-Free hybrid capture card), Live Gamer Extreme (super speed console streaming), Live Gamer HD Lite (entry-level PCIe game capture card), to Aegis GM310 gaming microphone and Ballista gaming speaker series.
The Ballista Ti-G1 is made, as is becoming more common in the suppressor industry, from titanium.
It was developed by Ballista Digital, a producer of historybased apps for museums.
Very specific types of weaponry are annotated: bows, cheirotoxobolistrae or tzangrae (crossbows), catapults, ballista bolts, caltrops, pikes, corseques (trident stave weapons), and--the most feared of all--the unquenchable flaming oil known as "Greek fire." (Any of several Greek phrases [e.g., pyr thalassion, "sea fire," and pyr kolletikon, "sticky fire"] could convey the incendiary nature of this substance forcefully expelled from deck-mounted siphons.)