rip cord

  1. a cord on a parachute that, when pulled, opens the parachute for descent.
  2. a cord fastened in the bag of a passenger balloon or dirigible so that a sharp pull upon it will rip or open the bag and let the gas escape, causing the balloon to descend rapidly.

Origin of rip cord

First recorded in 1905–10 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rip cord

Historical Examples of rip cord

  • After falling a hundred feet, he pulled the rip-cord, and left the rest to chance.

    Famous Flyers

    David Goodger (

  • He fought down an almost overwhelming urge to pull his rip-cord too soon.


    Edward Elmer Smith

  • He grabbed his rip-cord ring with his freed right hand, yanked hard, grabbed his bottle to him with both hands again, and waited.

    Test Pilot

    David Goodger (

  • He didnt pull the rip-cord until he had fallen quite a way, because he didnt want the ships to fall on him.

    Famous Flyers

    David Goodger (

  • The instant it was past, Warren yanked his rip-cord, and it wasnt a moment too soon, either.

    The Flying Reporter

    Lewis E. (Lewis Edwin) Theiss