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Definition of 'jettison'

To discard or get rid of something, often in a hasty or deliberate manner, in order to lighten a load, reduce excess, or eliminate unwanted elements.
"The politician was forced to jettison his controversial policy."

Detailed Meaning of 'jettison'

This action typically involves throwing or ejecting the object or idea away, especially in situations where it is deemed unnecessary, burdensome, or detrimental. Metaphorically, 'jettison' can also be used to describe the process of letting go of concepts, beliefs, or practices that no longer serve a purpose or are hindering progress, much like a ship shedding ballast to stay afloat or an aircraft ejecting cargo to improve its maneuverability. In essence, 'jettison' conveys the notion of deliberate removal to improve efficiency, functionality, or overall well-being.


Examples of 'jettison' in a Sentence

1. When the ship started sinking, the crew had to jettison the cargo to stay afloat.
2. To make the hot air balloon rise, we had to jettison some ballast.
3. In a crisis, it's important to jettison any non-essential activities to focus on the most important tasks.
4. To achieve your goals, you may need to jettison old habits that are holding you back.
5. When starting a new project, it's important to jettison any preconceived notions and approach it with an open mind.
6. To make room for new opportunities, you may need to jettison some old commitments.

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Origins & Etymology of 'jettison'

The verb 'jettison' has its etymological roots in the nautical world. It can be traced back to the Old Italian word 'getizzone,' which referred to a throwing overboard of goods to lighten a ship's load during times of distress. This term entered English through the French word 'jetter' and became 'jettison,' signifying the deliberate act of discarding or getting rid of something, often in a hasty or calculated manner, to reduce excess weight, improve balance, or eliminate unwanted elements. 'Jettison' is a term that transcends its maritime origins and is now used more broadly, symbolizing the strategic decision to let go of what is deemed non-essential or burdensome in order to navigate challenges and streamline processes, both in literal and metaphorical contexts.

How to pronounce jettison (audio)


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