What Does To Catapult Someone Into Something Mean?

To Catapult Into Meaning

Definition: To cause someone to move in a forward or upward direction, especially in the context of fame or social status; to put someone in the spotlight.

The phrase to catapult someone in something means to do something that causes someone’s fame or social status to increase. For instance, an unknown actor may be “catapulted into fame and fortune” if he auditions for a movie and earns the lead role.

This phrase may also be used when talking about someone who has rapidly come under public scrutiny. A person or company may be catapulted onto the front page of the newspaper following a good deed or scandal.

Ways to Use To Catapult Someone in Something

define catapault someone into somethingThe literal meaning of the verb catapult is to launch an object using great force, as if with a catapult. Its meaning in the idiomatic phrase stems from this definition.

If someone is catapulted into something, he moves rapidly into a better position than he was in before, as a catapult had literally launched him. This phrase is most commonly used when referring to a person’s status or fame.

Examples of To Catapult Someone in Something

meaning of catapulted into fameThis phrase usually carries a positive connotation, especially when it is used in the context of fame. A local man may be catapulted into the national spotlight after he saves his family from a burning building.

However, this phrase can carry a negative connotation as well. If a government official has been caught spying or illegally obtaining information, he may be catapulted into the national spotlight.

No matter whether the person is catapulted for a good or bad reason, the meaning of the phrase is the same.

More Examples

  • The lottery also produced a new phenomenon in New Jersey: The instant millionaire, who was suddenly catapulted into fame and fortune without so much as a backward glance at his old bills. –NY Times
  • No drug company wants to find itself catapulted into the national spotlight on the wrong end of President-elect Trump’s tweets. –Washington Post


The English phrase to catapult someone into something means to cause that person to move to a higher rank or better position. It may also mean to place someone under public scrutiny.