ETYM French javeline; akin to Spanish jabalina, Italian giavelina, and French javelot, Old Fren. gavlot. Related to Gavelock.
1. A spear thrown as a weapon or in competitive field events.
2. An athletic competition in which a javelin is thrown as far as possible.
Spear used in athletics events. The men's javelin is about 260 cm/8.5 ft long, weighing 800 g/28 oz; the women's 230 cm/7.5 ft long, weighing 600 g/21 oz. It is thrown from a scratch line at the end of a run-up. The center of gravity on the men's javelin was altered 1986 to reduce the vast distances (90 m/100 yd) that were being thrown.