arbalest, n. [OF. arbaleste, LL. arbalista, for L. arcuballista; arcus bow + ballista a military engine. See Ballista.].
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. Fosbroke. [1913 Webster]