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’
    • ‘Each one of us, myself included, began to jettison unnecessary baggage.’
    • ‘Luckily it had jettisoned its bomb load and the crew baled out to safety and captivity.’
    • ‘When set in motion, it effectively jettisons its unbelted riders - a family of padded dummies - out its windows.’
    • ‘AT1 Perry jettisoned the external load, and the instantaneous release caused the cargo hook to snap back, hitting and lacerating his arm.’
    • ‘Let's look at some other " customs " we've jettisoned in favor of progress and universal human dignity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Two orange, glowing objects were jettisoned out of the Echo and sailed toward the ship's engine.’
    • ‘Jim Forrest had scored 15 goals in 28 appearances before he was jettisoned for his part in the fiasco.’
    • ‘Just jettison that thing or evacuate your ship.’
    • ‘A television camera aboard Discovery's giant external fuel tank provided never-before-seen images of the shuttle jettisoning the tank and moving away.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I then jettisoned the weight belt and removed my tank.’
    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’
      • ‘Their latest line of thinking, however, is likely to see the textbooks jettisoned altogether.’
      • ‘Seinfeld has jettisoned all his old bits and is slowly building a new repertoire, one joke at a time.’
      • ‘He in fact wanted to jettison anyone who would stand up to his dictatorial tendencies.’
      • ‘They have to reinvent themselves and jettison anyone tarred with the brush of Thatcher if they are ever again to challenge.’
      • ‘Those who want to simply jettison him go too far.’
      • ‘Her group had left her, jettisoning her into oblivion for fear of attracting unwanted attention to themselves.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Joining the Giants helped resurrect Collins' career, but Wheatley's didn't take off until the Giants jettisoned him.’
      • ‘It was no surprise when the band jettisoned him.’
      • ‘Despite their doubts these men clung precariously to some idea of God, unwilling to jettison Him altogether.’
      • ‘The time has come fort this nonsense to be jettisoned completely.’
      • ‘If Abramovich jettisons him for Eriksson in the summer, he will have shown a savage set of teeth.’
      • ‘Senior people inside Fianna Fail are saying privately that the long-term intent is to jettison the PDs.’
      • ‘Eventually, any pretence of a plot is jettisoned in favour of romantic wish fulfilment.’
      • ‘Visually exciting, it dares us to jettison our conceptual baggage.’
      • ‘Yet Isiah jettisoned him out of New York to Phoenix, which has placed him back on the injured list after three unimpressive games.’
      • ‘They knew he would never jettison anyone short of an attacking pirate, but he did not like having to cater to his former competitor.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If the committee issued a negative report, Barroso would feel obliged to jettison him, or at least give him a less significant portfolio.’
      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.

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


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.