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[jet-uh-suh n, -zuh n] /ˈdʒɛt ə sən, -zən/
verb (used with object)
to cast (goods) overboard in order to lighten a vessel or aircraft or to improve its stability in an emergency.
to throw off (something) as an obstacle or burden; discard.
Cards. to discard (an unwanted card or cards).
the act of casting goods from a vessel or aircraft to lighten or stabilize it.
Origin of jettison
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English jetteson < Anglo-French; Old French getaisonLatin jactātiōn- (stem of jactātiō) jactation
Related forms
jettisonable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for jettison
  • But the team also continued to jettison other veterans, releasing strong.
  • And you have to learn to accept that critique, incorporate the good and jettison the bad.
  • In effect, the state will take on much of the debt that the private sector has decided to jettison.
  • We program each tag to jettison from the whale at a predetermined time, after which it floats to the surface.
  • The amendments begin to jettison a cruel and repressive system.
  • If these deteriorate, the government could be the one to jettison reform and fiscal prudence.
  • The animals violently contract their muscles and jettison some of their internal organs out of their anuses.
  • There is little time left to jettison this unjust and counterproductive policy.
  • They will explore their past, and some of the prescripts and taboos that it gave rise to they will jettison.
  • Some companies want talent so badly, they buy start-ups for their employees and then jettison the products.
British Dictionary definitions for jettison


/ˈdʒɛtɪsən; -zən/
verb (transitive) -sons, -soning, -soned
to throw away; abandon: to jettison old clothes
to throw overboard
another word for jetsam (sense 1)
Word Origin
C15: from Old French getaison, ultimately from Latin jactātiō a tossing about; see jactation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for jettison

1848, from jettison (n.) "act of throwing overboard" to lighten a ship. This noun was an 18c. Marine Insurance writers' restoration of the earlier form and original sense of the 15c. word that had become jetsam, probably because jetsam had taken on a sense of "things cast overboard" and an unambiguous word was needed for "act of throwing overboard."

Middle English jetteson (n.) "act of throwing overboard" is from Anglo-French getteson, from Old French getaison "act of throwing (goods overboard)," especially to lighten a ship in distress, from Late Latin iactionem (nominative iactatio) "act of throwing," noun of action from past participle stem of iectare "toss about" (see jet (v.)). Related: Jettisoned.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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