from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An apparatus used to retard free fall from an aircraft, consisting of a light, usually hemispherical canopy attached by cords to a harness and worn or stored folded until deployed in descent.
  • noun Any of various similar unpowered devices that are used for retarding free-speeding or free-falling motion.
  • intransitive verb To drop (supplies or troops, for example) by means of a parachute.
  • intransitive verb To descend by means of a parachute.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To descend by or as if by the aid of a parachute.
  • noun An apparatus, usually of an umbrella shape, 20 or 30 feet in diameter, carried in a balloon, that the aëronaut may by its aid drop to the ground without sustaining injury.
  • noun A safety-cage (which see).
  • noun In zoology, same as patagium.
  • noun A broad-brimmed hat worn by women toward the close of the eighteenth century.
  • noun A large funnel of tinned copper set in the skimming-vat of a brewery, the mouth on a level with the surface of the beer, used to receive and carry off the yeast which is skimmed into it by means of a plank paddle.
  • noun In botany, a down or tuft of hairs attached to a seed enabling it to float in the air as if supported by a parachute: most properly, a tuft supported by a long beak as in the dandelion (see pappus, cut a), but also applied more broadly. Often adjectival, as in the phrases parachute mechanisms, parachute seeds, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb TO descend to th ground from an airplane or other high place using a parachute
  • intransitive verb a generous set of financial benefits, including severance pay, provided by contract to a high-level corporate employee in the event s/he is dismissed or his/her job is lost in a corporate takeover or merger; also, the contract providing for such benefits.
  • intransitive verb a small parachute that is first released and opened in order to more reliably deploy a larger parachute. Also called drogue.
  • noun A device made of a piece of cloth, usually silk, attached to multiple chords fastened to a harness; when attached to a person or object falling through the air, it opens from a folded configuration into an umbrella-shaped form, thus slowing the rate of descent so that a safe descent and landing may be made through the air from an airplane, balloon, or other high point. It is commonly used for descending to the ground from a flying airplane, as for military operations (as of airborne troops) or in an emergency, or for sport. In the case of use as a sport, the descent from an airplane by parachute is called sky diving. Some older versions of parachute were more rigid, and were shaped somewhat in the form of an umbrella.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A web or fold of skin which extends between the legs of certain mammals, as the flying squirrels, colugo, and phalangister.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun aviation A device, generally constructed from fabric, that is designed to employ air resistance to control the fall of an object.
  • noun zoology A web or fold of skin extending between the legs of gliding mammals, such as the flying squirrel and colugo.
  • verb To jump, fall, descend, etc. using such a device.
  • verb To be placed in an organisation in a position of seniority without having previous experience there.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb jump from an airplane and descend with a parachute
  • noun rescue equipment consisting of a device that fills with air and retards your fall


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French : para(sol), parasol; see parasol + chute, fall; see chute.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowing from French parachute, from para- ("protection against") (as in parasol) and chute ("fall").


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  • Wot, no parachute for sionnach? *shoves him out of a plane over The Andes*

    August 30, 2008