Definition of parachute in US 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 crates are fitted with parachutes and dropped from airplanes into Afghanistan.’
    • ‘In 1922, Soviet soldiers were dropped successfully by parachute from aircraft.’
    • ‘A thousand feet later, he opened his parachute for a landing.’
    • ‘Nick points to three parachutes opening and falling slowly towards the ground, one landing on a nearby rooftop.’
    • ‘Voskhod capsules also had larger parachutes to permit ground landings.’
    • ‘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 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’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Brightly-coloured parachutes can be seen descending through the clouds and aeroplanes constantly criss-cross the skies.’
    • ‘There are also attachments on the vest to enable the dog to be dropped by parachute, or hauled up via a rope.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the recovery of the experiment hardware after a nominal soft landing under parachute allows for its re-use in future missions.’
    • ‘He was dropped by parachute at Arnhem and advanced into Germany.’
    • ‘Prosthetic limbs are dropped by parachute to a wind blown field hospital for land mine victims.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Once found, we then drop 2-liter bottles of water attached to parachutes.’
    • ‘Donny Brass developed cardboard refrigerator boxes with three-ply walls to safely and accurately deliver rations to refugees without using heavy crates or parachutes.’
    • ‘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.’


  • 1Drop or cause to drop 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 Bosnia’
    • ‘During the Shaba rebellion in the 1970s the US organised a military airlift and France parachuted in legionnaires to crush Mobutu's enemies.’
    • ‘Sixty years after he parachuted into battle at Arnhem, Yorkshire veteran Tom Hicks descended once again from the skies to mark its anniversary.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The group parachuted in and set up airborne operations. It was a great feat.’
    • ‘Under the command of Major Warden, the small commando unit is parachuted in and begins an overland march to the site of the bridge.’
    • ‘Sheriff was blinded by a German mortar bomb seven hours after he parachuted in 1944.’
    • ‘Paratroopers who parachuted in will be lifted by crane back to their helicopters.’
    • ‘All three crew members parachuted from the aircraft, landing safely in West Germany and were recovered by US / Allied troops.’
    • ‘As the crewmen parachuted into the water their ejection seats transformed into emergency inflatable dinghies.’
    • ‘British and Polish air troops together with the Polish brigade under the leadership of Sosabowski were parachuted in.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The other nine were able to safely parachute from the aircraft.’
    • ‘The American 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions parachuted into a deliberately flooded zone at the base of the Cotentin Peninsula.’
  • 2Appoint or be appointed in an emergency or from outside the existing hierarchy.

    ‘an old crony of the CEO was controversially parachuted into the job’
    • ‘He was parachuted into Jacqmar, a women's fashion subsidiary, and his interest in retail was born.’
    • ‘After casting around for a new CEO, the board parachuted in Stuart Rose.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Irishman was parachuted in from Australia, untested at running an opera house but well intentioned.’
    • ‘Experienced teachers from neighbouring schools were parachuted in.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They all seemed to have been parachuted into these jobs - they didn't have a clue.’
    • ‘It was also a good election for cronyism with a number of former special advisers being parachuted in.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘They parachuted in councillors no one had ever seen before, none of whom had ever even sat on a fire authority.’
    • ‘Timmins was parachuted into Las Vegas to oversee the opening, and it quickly became obvious that the debts would need refinancing.’
    • ‘Plus, some hedge funds have former CEOs and CFOs on their payrolls, ready to be parachuted in at a moment's notice.’
    • ‘It was just parachuted in at the last minute, and for no good reason that I can see.’
    • ‘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.’


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