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.

  • 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.
  • To descend by or as if by the aid of a parachute.

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