Caltrop Cal"trop, Caltrap Cal"trap, n. [OE. calketrappe, calletrappe, caltor (in both senses), fr. AS. collr[ae]ppe, calcetreppe, sort of thistle; cf. F. chaussetrape star thistle, trap, It. calcatreppo, calcatreppolo, star thistle. Perh. from L. calx heel + the same word as E. trap. See 1st {Trap}.] 1. (Bot.) A genus of herbaceous plants ({Tribulus}) of the order {Zygophylle[ae]}, having a hard several-celled fruit, armed with stout spines, and resembling the military instrument of the same name. The species grow in warm countries, and are often very annoying to cattle. [1913 Webster]

2. (Mil.) An instrument with four iron points, so disposed that, any three of them being on the ground, the other projects upward. They are scattered on the ground where an enemy's cavalry are to pass, to impede their progress by endangering the horses' feet. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • caltrop — [kal′trəp, kal′träp΄] n. [ME calketrappe < OE calcatrippe, star thistle & OFr chaucetrape, both < ML calcatrippa < L calcare, to tread upon (< calx, heel: see CALCAR) + Gmc * trippon, TRIP] 1. an iron device with four spikes, placed… …   English World dictionary

  • Caltrop — For the plant or its fruit, see water caltrop. Iron caltrop used in Vietnam. A caltrop (also known as caltrap, galtrop, cheval trap, galthrap, galtrap,[1] calthrop …   Wikipedia

  • caltrop — also calthrop noun Etymology: Middle English caltrappe, alteration of calketrappe star thistle, from Old English calcatrippe, from Medieval Latin calcatrippa Date: 15th century 1. a. plural but singular or pl …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Caltrop — 1 [calthrop]. Orig. a snare; then, a spiked iron ball thrown on the ground to cripple horses in battle. Its principal element is still to be found in use today as the spiked metal strip used by police forces to puncture the tyres of miscreant car …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • caltrop — [ kaltrəp] (also caltrap) noun 1》 a spiked metal ball thrown on the ground to impede wheeled vehicles or (formerly) cavalry horses. 2》 a creeping plant with woody carpels that typically have hard spines. [Genus Tribulus.] 3》 (also water caltrop)… …   English new terms dictionary

  • caltrop — gulsčioji ragužė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Ragužinių šeimos vaistinis nuodingas augalas (Tribulus terrestris), paplitęs Europoje, Azijoje ir Afrikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Tribulus terrestris angl. caltrop; cat s head; common dubbletjie; …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • caltrop — /kal treuhp/, n. 1. any of several plants having spiny heads or fruit, as those of the genera Tribulus and Kallstroemia, or the star thistle, Centaurea calcitrapa. 2. an iron ball with four projecting spikes so disposed that when the ball is on… …   Universalium

  • caltrop — noun /ˈkæltrəp,ˈkɔːltrəp/ a) A small, metal object with spikes arranged so that, when thrown onto the ground, one always faces up as a threat to passers by. ...her father, the emperor Alexius, who reigned AD 1081 1118, ordered caltrops to be cast …   Wiktionary

  • caltrop — n. any of several species of plants with spiny heads or fruit; iron ball with four spikes arranged so that one is always pointing upward (used to hinder passage of cavalries or vehicles) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Caltrop — Small device scattered on the ground to injure and make any passing horses lame (or later to puncture rubber tyres). It has four metal spikes forming the four corners of a tetrahedron so that one metal spike will always points upwards.… …   Medieval glossary

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