Etymology
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arbalest (n.)

also arbalist, type of 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" (from PIE root *gwele- "to throw, reach"). German Armbrust is from the same French word but mangled by folk etymology. Related: Arbalester.

The missile of the arbalist was discharged with such force as to penetrate ordinary armor, and the weapon was considered so deadly as to be prohibited by a council of the church except in warfare against infidels. [Century Dictionary]

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Definitions of arbalest

arbalest (n.)
an engine that provided medieval artillery used during sieges; a heavy war engine for hurling large stones and other missiles;
Synonyms: catapult / arbalist / ballista / bricole / mangonel / onager / trebuchet / trebucket
From wordnet.princeton.edu