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[par-uh-shoot] /ˈpær əˌʃut/

a folding, umbrellalike, fabric device with cords supporting a harness or straps for allowing a person, object, package, etc., to float down safely through the air from a great height, especially from an aircraft, rendered effective by the resistance of the air that expands it during the descent and reduces the velocity of its fall.
Horology. a shockproofing device for the balance staff of a watch, consisting of a yielding, springlike support for the bearing at either end.

verb (used with object), parachuted, parachuting.
to drop or land (troops, equipment, supplies, etc.) by parachute.
verb (used without object), parachuted, parachuting.
to descend by parachute.

(of troops, supplies, etc) to land or cause to land by parachute from an aircraft
(in an election) to bring in (a candidate, esp someone well known) from outside the constituency

1784 (the year the use of one first was attempted, in Paris), from French parachute, literally “that which protects against a fall,” hybrid coined by French aeronaut François Blanchard (1753-1809) from para- “defense against” (see para- (2)) + chute “a fall” (see chute).

PARACHUTE, a kind of large and strong umbrella, contrived to break a person’s fall from an airballoon, should any accident happen to the balloon at a high elevation. [“Supplement to the Encyclopaedia or Dictionary of Arts and Sciences,” Philadelphia, 1803]


1807, from parachute (n.). Related: Parachuted; parachuting.


: A mixture of crack cocaine and heroin known as ”parachute” (1980s+ Narcotics)

Related Terms

golden parachute


Read Also:

  • Parachute flare

    noun an emergency signal that is attached to or dropped by a parachute after launch Examples A parachute flare is usually quite visible.

  • Parachute-brake

    noun 1. a parachute opened horizontally from the tail of an airplane upon landing, used as an aid in braking. Also called parabrake. Compare (def 2).

  • Parachute mitral valve

    parachute mitral valve par·a·chute mitral valve (pār’ə-shōōt’) n. A congenital deformity of the mitral valve in which there is only one papillary muscle present.

  • Parachute reflex

    parachute reflex n. See startle reflex.

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