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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But hypothetically, if push came to shove—left with only one pair of interconnects—many dedicated listeners would jettison all of their silver discs in order to preserve their turntable. Robert Ross, Robb Report, "Review: You Might Not Be a True Audiophile Without the State-of-the-Art Ramar Record Brush," 2 Apr. 2021 Farmington educators agreed in December to jettison the Indians as the symbol of the school, concluding after years of debate that the name was culturally insensitive. Don Stacom, courant.com, "Mascot switch: Farmington Indians are out, Farmington River Hawks are in," 26 Mar. 2021 Having the ability to jettison a body part, such as a tail, helps many animals avoid predation. New York Times, "Meet the Sea Slugs That Chop Off Their Heads and Grow New Bodies," 8 Mar. 2021 Doing so would require Biden to jettison many of his most consequential 2020 presidential campaign promises while frustrating much of his base and Democratic Party leadership. Anchorage Daily News, "White House prepares infrastructure bill with universal pre-K, free community college, climate measures," 22 Mar. 2021 However, the Senate is expected to jettison the provision, or reduce the amount, to perhaps $11. Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times, "The House is about to pass more COVID-19 relief. What’s in the bill?," 24 Feb. 2021 But the footage showed there was a problem with one of the springs that helps jettison the heatshield. Washington Post, "Watch NASA’s Perseverance rover landing on Mars in HD," 22 Feb. 2021 But the footage showed there was a problem with one of the springs that helps jettison the heatshield. Author: Christian Davenport, Anchorage Daily News, "Video shows NASA’s Perseverance rover landing on Mars in high definition," 22 Feb. 2021 So company leadership decided to jettison the normal formula and award 100% of the bonus to all eligible employees. oregonlive, "The $15,000 paycheck: Annual bonus day helps ease the pain at Nike," 18 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, "America’s ‘Big Three’ airlines prepare for a difficult fall season," 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, "‘Wendy’ Review: Where Playtime Goes On … and On," 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, "'Witch': Theater Review," 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, "Catch Rockets With a Helicopter? Yep, That's the Plan," 15 Aug. 2019 When the jettison button is pushed, a Cartridge Activated Device drops the tank. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Squadron leaders warned of dangerous helicopter ‘hot seat’ hours before sailor fatally injured, report finds," 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, "Which Toothbrush Subscription Service Is the Best?," 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, "Exclusive first look: Creative Labs' high-end Sound BlasterX AE-9 breaks cover," 8 Dec. 2018 The best thing the Lakers could do for themselves, and LeBron James, is jettison Lonzo Ball and his deadweight daddy, and go looking for a healthy, mature partner for James. Sally Jenkins, chicagotribune.com, "Welcome to L.A., LeBron James. See yourself out, LaVar Ball.," 2 July 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for jettison

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jettison.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jettison. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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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.

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