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Crossbow, medieval weapon consisting of a small, powerful bow fixed transversely on a stock, which is grooved to take the missile. Its bowstring is latched onto a trigger mechanism, often by a lever or winch, and fires a shaft (a bolt or quarrel, about 19 in/48 cm long). It has less range and accuracy than the longbow and is slower to load.

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Cretinism to Davis, David