A parachute is a device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere by creating drag or, in a ram-air parachute, aerodynamic lift. A major application is to support people, for recreation or as a safety device for aviators, who can exit from an aircraft at height and descend safely to earth.
A parachute is usually made of a light, strong fabric. Early parachutes were made of silk. The most common fabric today is nylon. A parachute’s canopy is typically dome-shaped, but some are rectangles, inverted domes, and other shapes.