jettison

verb
jet·​ti·​son | \ ˈje-tə-sən How to pronounce jettison (audio) , -zən \
jettisoned; jettisoning; jettisons

Definition of jettison

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

jettison

noun

Definition of jettison (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Other Words from jettison

Verb

jettisonable \ ˈje-​tə-​sə-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce jettison (audio) , -​zə-​ \ adjective

The Origin of Jettison

Noun

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.

Examples of jettison in a Sentence

Verb The captain gave orders to jettison the cargo. They jettisoned the fuel and made an emergency landing. We should jettison these old computers and get new ones. They jettisoned plans for a vacation. Noun with his ship rapidly sinking, the captain ordered a last-ditch jettison of much of its cargo
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This is no small matter — the only way Democrats can enact such laws would be to at least partially jettison the Senate’s filibuster rule, a move that would inflame political tensions and alter the chamber’s dynamics for years to come. Arit John, Los Angeles Times, 9 Jan. 2022 Author Alice Fryling says aging is an opportunity to jettison the false self and finally discover spiritual freedom. The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 Dec. 2021 There were many things to keep in mind, including how to jettison the test requirement without creating the impression that academic expectations had changed. Danya Perez, San Antonio Express-News, 26 Dec. 2021 Some companies are considering whether to jettison the traditional workweek altogether. WSJ, 21 Dec. 2021 The tech giant also began to jettison extremist groups from the platform and agreed to participate in an independent audit by civil rights lawyers and experts who were chosen by Facebook. Fortune, 5 Nov. 2021 White House officials have not decided to completely jettison the CEPP but are instead looking at how to make changes that would ensure Manchin’s support for the broader economic package. Washington Post, 16 Oct. 2021 For instance, Lish had to jettison an entire subplot involving a serial killer. Tobias Carroll, Los Angeles Times, 2 Sep. 2021 So far, Starmer’s only definitive move has been to jettison those ideas—which has infuriated the left wing of the Party, who feel betrayed by his earlier apparent sympathy for them. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 2 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Will the new Vikings general manager kickstart a rebuild and jettison quarterback Kirk Cousins, who carries a $45 million cap hit next season? C.j. Doon, baltimoresun.com, 11 Jan. 2022 Such anemic demand means that anything less than a robust rebound over the coming months will prompt airlines to cut more employees, jettison older aircraft, and cut more salaries, which in turn could persuade more workers to depart. Justin Bachman, BostonGlobe.com, 20 Apr. 2020 In Barrie’s version, Wendy is soon cooking and caring for the boys, sidelined by the period conventions that Zeitlin thoroughly jettisons. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 27 Feb. 2020 In her loose adaptation of The Witch of Edmonton, written by William Rowley, Thomas Dekker and John Ford, Silverman reworks subplots and jettisons period dialogue for contemporary vernacular. Jordan Riefe, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Aug. 2019 In Rocket Lab’s design, its Electron rocket jettisons its payload and then begins to fall back toward Earth. Daniel Oberhaus, WIRED, 15 Aug. 2019 When the jettison button is pushed, a Cartridge Activated Device drops the tank. San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Aug. 2019 Powered by a single AAA battery, Quip jettisons much of the baggage of more complicated brushes, including the charging system, providing instead a streamlined (and quite attractive) wand with a vibrating, replaceable head. Christopher Null, WIRED, 6 June 2019 Although still based on the same Sound Core 3D chip as the AE-5 and AE-5 Pure, the AE-9 jettisons the on-chip digital analog converter, or DAC, in favor of an external DAC. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, 8 Dec. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of jettison

Verb

1848, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jettison

Noun and Verb

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

Learn More About jettison

Time Traveler for jettison

Time Traveler

The first known use of jettison was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near jettison

jet thrust

jettison

jetto

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for jettison

Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Jettison.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jettison. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for jettison

jettison

verb

English Language Learners Definition of jettison

: to drop (something) from a moving ship, airplane, etc.
: to get rid of (something) : to reject (something, such as a plan or idea)

jettison

verb
jet·​ti·​son | \ ˈje-tə-sən How to pronounce jettison (audio) \
jettisoned; jettisoning

Kids Definition of jettison

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

More from Merriam-Webster on jettison

Nglish: Translation of jettison for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!