[ jet-uh-suh n, -zuh n ]
/ ˈdʒɛt ə sən, -zən /

verb (used with object)

to cast (goods) overboard in order to lighten a vessel or aircraft or to improve its stability in an emergency.
to throw off (something) as an obstacle or burden; discard.
Cards. to discard (an unwanted card or cards).


the act of casting goods from a vessel or aircraft to lighten or stabilize it.

Nearby words

  1. jethro,
  2. jetliner,
  3. jetpack,
  4. jetport,
  5. jetsam,
  6. jetton,
  7. jetty,
  8. jetway,
  9. jeté,
  10. jeu

Origin of jettison

1375–1425; late Middle English jetteson < Anglo-French; Old French getaisonLatin jactātiōn- (stem of jactātiō) jactation

Related formsjet·ti·son·a·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jettison

British Dictionary definitions for jettison


/ (ˈdʒɛtɪsən, -zən) /

verb -sons, -soning or -soned (tr)

to throw away; abandonto jettison old clothes
to throw overboard


another word for jetsam (def. 1)

Word Origin for jettison

C15: from Old French getaison, ultimately from Latin jactātiō a tossing about; see jactation

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

Word Origin and History for jettison



1848, from jettison (n.) "act of throwing overboard" to lighten a ship. This noun was an 18c. Marine Insurance writers' restoration of the earlier form and original sense of the 15c. word that had become jetsam, probably because jetsam had taken on a sense of "things cast overboard" and an unambiguous word was needed for "act of throwing overboard."

Middle English jetteson (n.) "act of throwing overboard" is from Anglo-French getteson, from Old French getaison "act of throwing (goods overboard)," especially to lighten a ship in distress, from Late Latin iactionem (nominative iactatio) "act of throwing," noun of action from past participle stem of iectare "toss about" (see jet (v.)). Related: Jettisoned.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper