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jettison

verb jet·ti·son \ ˈje-tə-sən , -zən \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of jettison

transitive verb
1 : 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
2 : to drop (cargo) to lighten a ship's load in time of distress
3 : to drop from an aircraft or spacecraft in flight

jettisonable

play \ˈje-tə-sə-nə-bəl, -zə-\ adjective

jettison was our Word of the Day on 03/05/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of jettison in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of jettison from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jettison.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of jettison

Other Nautical Terms


2

jettison

noun

Definition of jettison

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

Examples of jettison in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of jettison from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jettison.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

The Origin of jettison

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.

Origin and Etymology of jettison

Middle English jetteson, from Anglo-French geteson, literally, action of throwing, from Latin jactation-, jactatio, from jactare — more at jet

Other Nautical Terms


JETTISON Defined for English Language Learners

jettison

verb

Definition of jettison for English Language Learners

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

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


JETTISON Defined for Kids

jettison

verb jet·ti·son \ ˈje-tə-sən \

Definition of jettison for Students

jettisoned; jettisoning
: to throw out especially from a ship or an airplane Cargo was jettisoned.


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