Definition of parachute in English:



  • A cloth canopy which fills with air and allows a person or heavy object attached to it to descend slowly when dropped from an aircraft, or which is released from the rear of an aircraft on landing to act as a brake.

    ‘the saviour of many pilots has been the parachute’
    ‘the planes came over the coast and started to drop supplies by parachute’
    as modifier ‘a parachute regiment’
    • ‘He was dropped by parachute at Arnhem and advanced into Germany.’
    • ‘A thousand feet later, he opened his parachute for a landing.’
    • ‘They converted them to radio control and use them to drop parachutes for testing, far cheaper than the Blackhawk helicopters they were using for these tests.’
    • ‘Foton doesn't rely only on parachutes for its soft landing: there is also a retro-rocket system that ignites as the package nears the ground.’
    • ‘The air vehicle is not fitted with conventional landing gear but instead achieves an accurate landing using a parachute and airbags.’
    • ‘Safety rules published in the British Parachute Association Operations Manual state that parachutists must have at least two ‘airworthy parachutes attached to a common harness’.’
    • ‘It is a site chosen to be warm enough for Beagle to work and low enough for Beagle's parachutes to allow a safe landing.’
    • ‘Keahi would fly in low on autopilot, the five would throw out their heavy supplies on parachutes, then jump by parachute themselves.’
    • ‘In total, they had 10,000 men who could be dropped by parachute and they had a total attack force of 22, 500 men.’
    • ‘The crates are fitted with parachutes and dropped from airplanes into Afghanistan.’
    • ‘Once found, we then drop 2-liter bottles of water attached to parachutes.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the recovery of the experiment hardware after a nominal soft landing under parachute allows for its re-use in future missions.’
    • ‘Paragliding is the act of strapping on a parachute and running off the top of a cliff, where upward air currents fill the parachute and allow you to glide.’
    • ‘In 1922, Soviet soldiers were dropped successfully by parachute from aircraft.’
    • ‘There are also attachments on the vest to enable the dog to be dropped by parachute, or hauled up via a rope.’
    • ‘Voskhod capsules also had larger parachutes to permit ground landings.’
    • ‘Brightly-coloured parachutes can be seen descending through the clouds and aeroplanes constantly criss-cross the skies.’
    • ‘Donny Brass developed cardboard refrigerator boxes with three-ply walls to safely and accurately deliver rations to refugees without using heavy crates or parachutes.’
    • ‘Nick points to three parachutes opening and falling slowly towards the ground, one landing on a nearby rooftop.’
    • ‘Prosthetic limbs are dropped by parachute to a wind blown field hospital for land mine victims.’


  • 1Drop from an aircraft by parachute.

    no object ‘airborne units parachuted in to secure the airport’
    with object ‘an air operation to parachute relief supplies into the region’
    • ‘Sixty years after he parachuted into battle at Arnhem, Yorkshire veteran Tom Hicks descended once again from the skies to mark its anniversary.’
    • ‘Under the command of Major Warden, the small commando unit is parachuted in and begins an overland march to the site of the bridge.’
    • ‘British and Polish air troops together with the Polish brigade under the leadership of Sosabowski were parachuted in.’
    • ‘The group parachuted in and set up airborne operations. It was a great feat.’
    • ‘The American 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions parachuted into a deliberately flooded zone at the base of the Cotentin Peninsula.’
    • ‘All three crew members parachuted from the aircraft, landing safely in West Germany and were recovered by US / Allied troops.’
    • ‘Paratroopers who parachuted in will be lifted by crane back to their helicopters.’
    • ‘This time his tasks included lying in ambush for the Germans and picking up supplies parachuted in by the RAF.’
    • ‘The assassinations and executions were to be carried out by agents already in place in the occupied countries or by agents parachuted in specifically for the task.’
    • ‘Sheriff was blinded by a German mortar bomb seven hours after he parachuted in 1944.’
    • ‘The other nine were able to safely parachute from the aircraft.’
    • ‘When I first travelled to this extraordinary land more than 30 years ago, it was with the French Foreign Legion, who had just parachuted into the copper-mining town of Kolwezi to put down a rebellion.’
    • ‘As the crewmen parachuted into the water their ejection seats transformed into emergency inflatable dinghies.’
    • ‘During the Shaba rebellion in the 1970s the US organised a military airlift and France parachuted in legionnaires to crush Mobutu's enemies.’
  • 2Appoint or be appointed in an emergency or from outside the existing hierarchy.

    with object ‘the former Conservative minister was controversially parachuted into the safe seat’
    • ‘Timmins was parachuted into Las Vegas to oversee the opening, and it quickly became obvious that the debts would need refinancing.’
    • ‘It helps to know what living in the village is like as it feels odd to be parachuted into this weird little world populated by 10,000 athletes.’
    • ‘When Keith Skerman was parachuted in 18 months ago, hopes were high that he would drag the department from the bottom of the national league tables.’
    • ‘It was also a good election for cronyism with a number of former special advisers being parachuted in.’
    • ‘Experienced teachers from neighbouring schools were parachuted in.’
    • ‘After casting around for a new CEO, the board parachuted in Stuart Rose.’
    • ‘I wasn't being parachuted in to a community, I was actually part of it, so I was able to look at it and do things with it in a way that nobody else could at that time.’
    • ‘Plus, some hedge funds have former CEOs and CFOs on their payrolls, ready to be parachuted in at a moment's notice.’
    • ‘While we all want to do all we can, having police teams at the college feels like we've been parachuted into a film without knowing the plot.’
    • ‘The Irishman was parachuted in from Australia, untested at running an opera house but well intentioned.’
    • ‘At that time, Capellas had been at the helm of the computer giant for around a year, having been parachuted in to replace Eckhard Pfeiffer and push the company to the forefront of the internet economy.’
    • ‘It would have been more of a surprise had an external candidate been parachuted in - this is a job that presupposes a certain measure of internal continuity.’
    • ‘It was just parachuted in at the last minute, and for no good reason that I can see.’
    • ‘They all seemed to have been parachuted into these jobs - they didn't have a clue.’
    • ‘They parachuted in councillors no one had ever seen before, none of whom had ever even sat on a fire authority.’
    • ‘He was parachuted into Jacqmar, a women's fashion subsidiary, and his interest in retail was born.’


Late 18th century: from French para- ‘protection against’ + chute ‘fall’.