What does arbalest or arbalist mean?
The definition of arbalest and arbalist
Ar”ba*lest, Ar”ba*list, n.
Etym: [OF. arbaleste, LL. arbalista, for L. arcuballista; arcus bow + ballista a military engine. See Ballista.] (Antiq.)

A crossbow, consisting of a steel bow set in a shaft of wood, furnished with a string and a trigger, and a mechanical device for bending the bow. It served to throw arrows, darts, bullets, etc. [Written also arbalet and arblast.] Fosbroke.