: to throw (goods) overboard to lighten a ship or aircraft in distress
When they realized their plan was not going to work, the committee jettisoned the idea and thought up a new one.
Did You Know?
Jettison comes from the Anglo-French noun geteson, meaning action of throwing, and is ultimately from the Latin verb jactare, meaning to throw. The noun jettison (a voluntary sacrifice of cargo to lighten a ships load in time of distress) entered English in the 15th century; the verb has been with us since the 19th century. The noun is also the source of the word jetsam (jettisoned goods), which is often paired with flotsam(floating wreckage). These days you dont have to be on a sinking ship to jettison something. In addition to literally throwing overboard, jettison means simply to get rid of. You might jettison some old magazines that are cluttering your house. Or you might make a plan but jettison it at the last minute, as in our example sentence.
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