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1784 (the year the use of one first was attempted, in Paris), from French parachute, literally "that which protects against a fall," hybrid coined by French aeronaut François Blanchard (1753-1809) from para- "defense against" (see para- (2)) + chute "a fall" (see chute).
PARACHUTE, a kind of large and strong umbrella, contrived to break a person's fall from an airballoon, should any accident happen to the balloon at a high elevation. ["Supplement to the Encyclopaedia or Dictionary of Arts and Sciences," Philadelphia, 1803]
1807, from parachute (n.). Related: Parachuted; parachuting.
: A mixture of crack cocaine and heroin known as ''parachute'' (1980s+ Narcotics)Related Terms