Definition of parachute in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈparəʃuːt/


Image of parachute
A cloth canopy which fills with air and allows a person or heavy object attached to it to descend slowly when dropped from an aircraft, or which is released from the rear of an aircraft on landing to act as a brake: the saviour of many pilots has been the parachute the planes came over the coast and started to drop supplies by parachute [as modifier]: a parachute regiment
More example sentences
  • Keahi would fly in low on autopilot, the five would throw out their heavy supplies on parachutes, then jump by parachute themselves.
  • In 1922, Soviet soldiers were dropped successfully by parachute from aircraft.
  • Paragliding is the act of strapping on a parachute and running off the top of a cliff, where upward air currents fill the parachute and allow you to glide.


1Drop from an aircraft by parachute: [no object]: airborne units parachuted in to secure the airport [with object]: an air operation to parachute relief supplies into the region
More example sentences
  • All three crew members parachuted from the aircraft, landing safely in West Germany and were recovered by US / Allied troops.
  • The group parachuted in and set up airborne operations. It was a great feat.
  • The other nine were able to safely parachute from the aircraft.
2Appoint or be appointed in an emergency or from outside the existing hierarchy: [with object]: the former Conservative minister was controversially parachuted into the safe seat
More example sentences
  • While we all want to do all we can, having police teams at the college feels like we've been parachuted into a film without knowing the plot.
  • It helps to know what living in the village is like as it feels odd to be parachuted into this weird little world populated by 10,000 athletes.
  • Timmins was parachuted into Las Vegas to oversee the opening, and it quickly became obvious that the debts would need refinancing.


Late 18th century: from French para- 'protection against' + chute 'fall'.

  • This was originally a French coinage from the combining form para- ‘protection against’ and French chute ‘fall’.

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