A military engine used in the Middle Ages for throwing stones, etc. It acted by means of a great weight fastened to the short arm of a lever, which, being let fall, raised the end of the long arm with great velocity, hurling stones with much force.
War engine developed in the Middle Ages employing counterpoise. (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 227) Stone-throwing siege engine operated by means of a counterweight. (Prestwich, Michael. Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages: The English Experience, 348) Siege engine or catapult hurling rocks or barrels of flaming tow, the principal form of heavy artillery before the bombard and afterwards used to supplement cannon. (Seward, Desmond. Henry V: The Scourge of God, 224) Related terms: Bombard / Ballista / Catapult / Espringale / Mangonel / Springald