• jettison
  • audio pronunciation
  • \JET-uh-sun\
  • DEFINITION

verb

1
: to throw (goods) overboard to lighten a ship or aircraft in distress
2
: discard
  • EXAMPLES

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 ship’s 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 don’t 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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