Definitions for caltropˈkæl trəp; -θrəp

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word caltrop

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

cal•tropˈkæl trəp; -θrəp(n.)

or cal•trap ; also cal•throp

  1. any of several plants having spiny heads or fruit, as those of the genera Tribulus and


    Category: Plants

  2. an iron ball with four projecting spikes, one of which always points upward when the ball is placed on the ground: used to obstruct cavalry, vehicles, etc.

    Category: Military

Origin of caltrop:

bef. 1000; ME calketrappe, OE calcatrippe

Princeton's WordNet

  1. caltrop, devil's weed, Tribulus terestris(noun)

    tropical annual procumbent poisonous subshrub having fruit that splits into five spiny nutlets; serious pasture weed

  2. water chestnut, water chestnut plant, caltrop(noun)

    a plant of the genus Trapa bearing spiny four-pronged edible nutlike fruits

  3. star-thistle, caltrop, Centauria calcitrapa(noun)

    Mediterranean annual or biennial herb having pinkish to purple flowers surrounded by spine-tipped scales; naturalized in America


  1. caltrop(Noun)

    A small, metal object with spikes arranged so that, when thrown onto the ground, one always faces up as a threat to passers-by.

  2. caltrop(Noun)

    The starthistle, Centaurea calcitrapa, a plant with sharp thorns.

  3. caltrop(Noun)

    A flowering plant, Tribulus terrestris, in the family Zygophyllaceae, native to warm temperate and tropical regions of the Old World.

  4. Origin: From the Latin calcitrapa "thistle"

Webster Dictionary

  1. Caltrop(noun)

    alt. of Caltrap


  1. Caltrop

    A caltrop is an antipersonnel weapon made up of two or more sharp nails or spines arranged in such a manner that one of them always points upward from a stable base. Caltrops were part of defenses that served to slow the advance of horses, war elephants, and human troops. They were said to be particularly effective against the soft feet of camels. In more modern times, caltrops are used against wheeled vehicles with pneumatic tires. The modern name "caltrop" is derived from the Latin calcitrapa. The synonymous Latin word tribulus gave rise to the modern Latin name of a plant offering similar hazards to sandaled or bare feet, Tribulus terrestris, whose spiked seed case can injure feet and puncture tires. This plant can also be compared to the starthistle, Centaurea calcitrapa, which is sometimes called the "caltrop". A water plant with similarly-shaped spiked seeds is called the "water caltrop", Trapa natans.


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