Meaning of rip cord

rip' cord"

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. a cord on a parachute that, when pulled, opens the parachute for descent.
  2. a cord fastened in the bag of a passenger balloon or dirigible so that a sharp pull upon it will rip or open the bag and let the gas escape, causing the balloon to descend rapidly.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
See also: