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a crossbow, consisting of a steel bow set in a shaft of wood, furnished with a string and a trigger, and a mechanical device for bending the bow. It served to throw arrows, darts, bullets, etc.
alternative forms: arbalet and arblast.
Origin: OF. Arbaleste, LL. Arbalista, for L. Arcuballista; arcus bow _ ballista a military engine. See Ballista.