[jet-uh-suh n, -zuh n]

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.

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 jettisoning

Contemporary Examples of jettisoning

Historical Examples of jettisoning

  • This jettisoning of his property with his own hand seemed uncanny to Soames.

  • The spectacle of the girl struggling with the stuff she was jettisoning put new determination into him.

  • In the same place was a small airlock for jettisoning purposes and for taking in more supplies.

    The Planet Strappers

    Raymond Zinke Gallun

  • In the present work I have the opportunity which so few authors have enjoyed of jettisoning all technics into an Appendix.

    The Foundations of Japan

    J.W. Robertson Scott

British Dictionary definitions for jettisoning


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 jettisoning



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