a powerful medieval crossbow with a steel bow, used to shoot stones, metal b-lls, arrows, etc.
historical examples

the cross-bow, or arbalist, was a popular weapon with the etolians, and was introduced into england in the thirteenth century.
every boy’s book: a complete encyclopdia of sports and amus-m-nts various

an arbalist or cross-bow man; also the corruption of alabaster.
the sailor’s word-book william henry smyth

shoots excellently with the bow or arbalist, rides, swims, is a master of fence with the small sword.
the romance of leonardo da vinci dmitry sergeyevich merezhkovsky

in the meantime here is wat with his arbalist and a bolt in his girdle.
sir nigel arthur conan doyle

another name for the crossbow was ‘arbalist,’ and its arrows were called quarils, or bolts.
chatterbox, 1906 various

he had brought his arbalist to his shoulder, when a commotion arose among the onlookers.
the romance of leonardo da vinci dmitry sergeyevich merezhkovsky

betwixt the third couple of towers were the b-tts for arquebus, crossbow, and arbalist.
the best of the world’s cl-ssics, restricted to prose, vol. vii (of x)–continental europe i various

then may come the english long-bow (far more rapid in its fire191 than the arbalist), and the day of the infantry will return.
life on a mediaeval barony william stearns davis

a large medieval crossbow, usually c-cked by mechanical means

“crossbow,” c.1300, from old french arbaleste “large crossbow with a crank” (12c., modern french arbalète), from vulgar latin arbalista, from late latin arcuballista “catapult,” from latin arcus “bow” (see arc (n.)) + ballista “machine for throwing projectiles” (see ballistic). german armbrust is from the same french word but mangled by folk etymology.

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