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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 jettisoning
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This jettisoning of his property with his own hand seemed uncanny to Soames.

    The Forsyte Saga, Complete John Galsworthy
  • The spectacle of the girl struggling with the stuff she was jettisoning put new determination into him.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • In the same place was a small airlock for jettisoning purposes and for taking in more supplies.

    The Planet Strappers Raymond Zinke Gallun
  • In the present work I have the opportunity which so few authors have enjoyed of jettisoning all technics into an Appendix.

    The Foundations of Japan J.W. Robertson Scott
British Dictionary definitions for jettisoning


/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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for jettisoning



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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