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 jettisonable (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 only SpaceX conducted an in-flight abort test and jettisoned its capsule from a rocket during flight. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "How NASA Certifies New Spacecraft Safe Enough for Humans," 13 May 2020 These tanks are depleted and then jettisoned during descent. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA awards lunar lander contracts to Blue Origin, Dynetics—and Starship," 30 Apr. 2020 Worst: Kentwan Balmer, first round, 2008 Balmer had zero starts and no sacks in his first two seasons, went AWOL during training camp in 2010 and was jettisoned to Seattle for a sixth-round pick before the season began. Eric Branch, SFChronicle.com, "49ers’ best and worst draft picks since 2000: From Kaepernick to Carmazzi," 17 Apr. 2020 Still, in economic terms, the cost of even a half-week trip to Disney World was a month’s worth of some other jettisoned yet epic adventure. Noah Lederman, Los Angeles Times, "A fantastic deal beckoned a family to Disney World. Was it too good to be true?," 2 Apr. 2020 Whereas a championship-winning sports career would be the peak of success for many, Harris has leveraged her background to educate young people and jettison herself into the world of business. Dom Difurio, Dallas News, "Dallas’ Fran Harris follows up UT, WNBA and ESPN fame with a $13 million youth sports plan for Forney," 2 Jan. 2020 Gun control groups were surprised in October when the justices refused to jettison it, even after the city and state erased restrictions that were likely unconstitutional. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court may expand Second Amendment rights despite repeal of disputed gun restrictions," 2 Dec. 2019 The incident occurred at 1 p.m. Monday when the Little Florida Railroad miniature train at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens in Sanford came to an unexpected halt causing it to jettison itself from the tracks, WKMG reported. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, "Mini train at Sanford zoo derails, injures one," 26 Nov. 2019 If something goes seriously wrong while the astronauts are perched on top of a rocket, the capsules are supposed to jettison them to safety. Wired, "SpaceX and Boeing Still Need a Parachute That Always Works," 5 Nov. 2019 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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Jettison.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jettison. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for jettison

jettison

verb
How to pronounce jettison (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on jettison

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jettison

Spanish Central: Translation of jettison

Nglish: Translation of jettison for Spanish Speakers

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