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The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Throwing stick \Throw"ing stick`\ (Anthropol.) An instrument used by various savage races for throwing a spear; -- called also throw stick and spear thrower. One end of the stick receives the butt of the spear, as upon a hook or thong, and the other end is grasped with the hand, which also holds the spear, toward the middle, above it with the finger and thumb, the effect being to bring the place of support nearer the center of the spear, and practically lengthen the arm in the act of throwing. In Mexico, one such device is called the atlatl. [Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC] [1913 Webster]