Etymology
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parachute (v.)

"to descend or convey by or as if by the aid of a parachute," 1807, from parachute (n.). Marked "rare" in Century Dictionary (1895); it became more common 20c. Related: Parachuted; parachuting.

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parachute (n.)

"apparatus, usually in the shape of a very large umbrella, carried in an aircraft, that may allow a person or thing to drop to the surface below without injury or damage," 1784 (the year the first use of one 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]
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chute (n.2)

also 'chute, short for parachute (n.), attested from 1919.

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parasail (n.)

1963, in reference to vehicles attached to parachute-like canopies, from first element of parachute (n.) + sail (n.). As a verb by 1970. Related: Parasailing.

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paratroops (n.)

"body of soldiers who are dropped by parachute into enemy territory," 1940, from parachute + plural of troop (n.).

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paramedic (n.)

"medical technician," 1970, back-formation from paramedical. The meaning "medical corpsman who parachutes" is 1951 from parachute + medic.

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paratrooper (n.)

"soldier dropped by parachute into enemy territory," 1941, from parachute + trooper. The collective noun paratroops is first recorded 1940. Earliest reference is to the German invaders who were expected to drop on England.

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para- (2)

word-forming element of Latin origin meaning "defense, protection against; that which protects from," from Italian para, imperative of parare "to ward off," from Latin parare "make ready" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure"). It figures in parachute, parasol, parapet, etc.

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*pere- (1)

*perə-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to produce, procure" and yielding and derived words in diverse senses; possibly related to *pere- (2) "to grant, allot."

It forms all or part of: ante-partum; apparatus; apparel; biparous; disparate; emperor; empire; heifer; imperative; imperator; imperial; juniper; multiparous; nulliparous; oviparous; para- (2) "defense, protection against; that which protects from;" Parabellum; parachute; parade; parados; parapet; parasol; pare; parent; -parous; parry; parturient; poor; post-partum; preparation; prepare; primipara; puerperal; rampart; repair (v.1) "to mend, put back in order;" repertory; separate; sever; several; spar (v.); viper; vituperation; viviparous.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit prthukah "child, calf, young of an animal;" Greek poris "calf, bull;" Latin parare "make ready, prepare," parire "produce, bring forth, give birth to;" Czech spratek "brat, urchin, premature calf;" Lithuanian periu, perėti "to brood;" Old High German farro, German Farre "bullock," Old English fearr "bull."

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jump (n.)
1550s, "an act of jumping," from jump (v.). Figurative meaning "sudden abrupt rise" is from 1650s. Meaning "abrupt transition from one point to another" is from 1670s. Sense of "a parachute descent" is from 1922. Meaning "jazz music with a strong beat" first recorded 1937, in Count Basie's "One O'Clock Jump." Jump suit "one-piece coverall modeled on those worn by paratroopers and skydivers" is from 1948. To get a jump on "get ahead, get moving" is from 1910, perhaps a figurative use from the jump-spark that ignites an engine.
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