Definition of jettison in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Throw or drop (something) from an aircraft or ship.

    ‘six aircraft jettisoned their loads in the sea’
    • ‘Luckily it had jettisoned its bomb load and the crew baled out to safety and captivity.’
    • ‘Just jettison that thing or evacuate your ship.’
    • ‘Each one of us, myself included, began to jettison unnecessary baggage.’
    • ‘When set in motion, it effectively jettisons its unbelted riders - a family of padded dummies - out its windows.’
    • ‘Jim Forrest had scored 15 goals in 28 appearances before he was jettisoned for his part in the fiasco.’
    • ‘The Silver Falcon was already on an outbound vector once they jettisoned the escape pod.’
    • ‘Inbound to Amberley the external drop tanks were jettisoned to reduce the overall weight for what became an uneventful landing.’
    • ‘This seems more honest to me than jettisoning the stuff far out to space where who knows what damage it might do in the faroff reaches of the sky.’
    • ‘A television camera aboard Discovery's giant external fuel tank provided never-before-seen images of the shuttle jettisoning the tank and moving away.’
    • ‘Let's look at some other " customs " we've jettisoned in favor of progress and universal human dignity.’
    • ‘AT1 Perry jettisoned the external load, and the instantaneous release caused the cargo hook to snap back, hitting and lacerating his arm.’
    • ‘I then jettisoned the weight belt and removed my tank.’
    • ‘Two orange, glowing objects were jettisoned out of the Echo and sailed toward the ship's engine.’
    • ‘He thought of Shackleton who, when forced to lighten his load on the ice floes, would not jettison his banjo.’
    • ‘The crew considered jettisoning the fuel bladders to regain control of the aircraft.’
    remove, offload, discharge, drop, deliver, deposit, set down, leave, put off, tip out, pour out
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Abandon or discard (someone or something that is no longer wanted)
      ‘individuals are often forced to jettison certain attitudes and behaviors’
      • ‘He's already been in cell 118 for five hours and I decide, no matter what, I'm going to not have the same look on my face when I'm jettisoned.’
      • ‘Their latest line of thinking, however, is likely to see the textbooks jettisoned altogether.’
      • ‘If Abramovich jettisons him for Eriksson in the summer, he will have shown a savage set of teeth.’
      • ‘Eventually, any pretence of a plot is jettisoned in favour of romantic wish fulfilment.’
      • ‘He in fact wanted to jettison anyone who would stand up to his dictatorial tendencies.’
      • ‘Seinfeld has jettisoned all his old bits and is slowly building a new repertoire, one joke at a time.’
      • ‘Joining the Giants helped resurrect Collins' career, but Wheatley's didn't take off until the Giants jettisoned him.’
      • ‘The time has come fort this nonsense to be jettisoned completely.’
      • ‘It was no surprise when the band jettisoned him.’
      • ‘Senior people inside Fianna Fail are saying privately that the long-term intent is to jettison the PDs.’
      • ‘Yet Isiah jettisoned him out of New York to Phoenix, which has placed him back on the injured list after three unimpressive games.’
      • ‘If the committee issued a negative report, Barroso would feel obliged to jettison him, or at least give him a less significant portfolio.’
      • ‘Despite their doubts these men clung precariously to some idea of God, unwilling to jettison Him altogether.’
      • ‘Those who want to simply jettison him go too far.’
      • ‘Visually exciting, it dares us to jettison our conceptual baggage.’
      • ‘They knew he would never jettison anyone short of an attacking pirate, but he did not like having to cater to his former competitor.’
      • ‘Her group had left her, jettisoning her into oblivion for fear of attracting unwanted attention to themselves.’
      • ‘His lyrics became more obscure; coherent narrative was jettisoned in favour of a procession of bizarre and cryptic happenings.’
      • ‘One senior figure said that if Taoiseach Bertie Ahern had any sense, he would jettison the PDs immediately.’
      • ‘They have to reinvent themselves and jettison anyone tarred with the brush of Thatcher if they are ever again to challenge.’
      dump, drop, ditch, discharge, eject, throw out, empty out, pour out, tip out, unload, throw overboard, throw over the side
      discard, dispose of, throw away, throw out, get rid of, toss out
      View synonyms


  • The action of jettisoning something.

    • ‘Euclis's ship comes into full range, totally eclipsing the jettison pod.’
    • ‘It caused severe distress to a crew member and forced the jettison of all sonobuoys.’
    • ‘One is you can jettison the fuel if the airplane has a jettison system.’
    • ‘When the airplane was in a position to jettison the load, the pilot discovered the jettison switch guard had vibrated back to the closed position.’
    • ‘On board the battle ship Alkaline, Dex moved cautiously to his station near the jettison pods.’
    • ‘We double-checked all the jettison setting, but nothing happened when I pushed the red button.’
    • ‘Noticing that Greasy 62's centerline tank had not jettisoned, he commanded a jettison reattempt.’


Late Middle English (as a noun denoting the throwing of goods overboard to lighten a ship in distress): from Old French getaison, from Latin jactatio(n-), from jactare ‘to throw’ (see jet). The verb dates from the mid 19th century.