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noun jet·ti·son \ˈje-tə-sən, -zən\

Definition of JETTISON

:  a voluntary sacrifice of cargo to lighten a ship's load in time of distress

Examples of JETTISON

  1. <with his ship rapidly sinking, the captain ordered a last-ditch jettison of much of its cargo>

Origin of JETTISON

Middle English jetteson, from Anglo-French geteson, literally, action of throwing, from Latin jactation-, jactatio, from jactare — more at jet
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Nautical Terms

avast, aweigh, flotsam, jib, keel, lee, port, starboard, stay



: to drop (something) from a moving ship, airplane, etc.

: to get rid of (something) : to reject (something, such as a plan or idea)

Full Definition of JETTISON

transitive verb
:  to make jettison of
:  to get rid of as superfluous or encumbering :  omit or forgo as part of a plan or as the result of some other decision <must be prepared to jettison many romantic notions — Christopher Catling>
:  to drop from an aircraft or spacecraft in flight
jet·ti·son·able \-sə-nə-bəl, -zə-\ adjective

Examples of JETTISON

  1. The captain gave orders to jettison the cargo.
  2. They jettisoned the fuel and made an emergency landing.
  3. We should jettison these old computers and get new ones.
  4. They jettisoned plans for a vacation.

First Known Use of JETTISON


Other Nautical Terms

avast, aweigh, flotsam, jib, keel, lee, port, starboard, stay
JETTISONED Defined for Kids


verb jet·ti·son \ˈje-tə-sən\

Definition of JETTISON for Kids

:  to throw out especially from a ship or an airplane <Cargo was jettisoned.>


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