I'm looking for a word which could mean arrow or crossbow-bolt (but not other missiles like stones, darts or javelins or whatever).

More specifically I'm trying to use it as a description for what happens when you're hit with 'one of those'. I was considering 'shaft' or 'barb' but those are just specific parts of the thing itself.

  • bolt of lightning or bolt of nuts and bolts? – ScotM Jan 30 '15 at 21:19
  • Bolt of crossbow. Let me updated the question – Haedrian Jan 30 '15 at 21:20
  • 3
    Since a bolt is a type of arrow, you would just use arrow. – Chris Sunami supports Monica Jan 30 '15 at 21:24
  • 1
    Projectile is the most general term. – ScotM Jan 30 '15 at 21:25
  • @ChrisSunami, that would be a good answer. – ScotM Jan 30 '15 at 21:28

Given that a bolt is a type of arrow, there really can't be any other answer than arrow.

  • 1
    +1, but it's amazing how many times I have said, "There is no word for that," only to be embarrassed when someone presented a word for it :-) – ScotM Jan 30 '15 at 21:50
  • I actually never considered bolts to be subelements of arrows (which is why I thought I was missing an obvious word). Still, might work for my own needs. – Haedrian Jan 31 '15 at 12:42

Projectile includes both arrow and bolt (in addition to other things that can be thrown from various weapons and tools):

1.1 An object propelled through the air, especially one thrown as a weapon:

  • I want to restrict the term to arrows or bolts, and not other missiles. – Haedrian Jan 30 '15 at 21:28
  • Then arrow is the word, unless we find a better one. – ScotM Jan 30 '15 at 21:29
  • The thing about these projectiles is that they're pointed. I.e, they're useless if they tumble. So they hafta be either balanced (like a pub dart), or guided by fletchings of some sort (like an arrow), or both, in order to make sure that the pointed business end arrives at its destination first and fast. So I'd say "pointed projectile" as a general term. – John Lawler Jan 30 '15 at 21:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.