or jet·som

[ jet-suh m ]
/ ˈdʒɛt səm /


goods cast overboard deliberately, as to lighten a vessel or improve its stability in an emergency, which sink where jettisoned or are washed ashore.
Compare flotsam, lagan.

Origin of jetsam

1560–70; alteration of jetson, syncopated variant of jettison

Can be confused

flotsam jetsam Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jetsam

British Dictionary definitions for jetsam



/ (ˈdʒɛtsəm) /


that portion of the equipment or cargo of a vessel thrown overboard to lighten her, as during a stormCompare flotsam (def. 1), lagan
another word for flotsam (def. 2)

Word Origin for jetsam

C16: shortened from jettison
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with jetsam


see flotsam and jetsam.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.