1. a early inflatable life preserver

2. a parachute malfunction that divides the cloth so that it resemble an exaggerated brassiere .

(First sense partly from the resemblance to A well endowed American actress who was then appearing in films)
A Mae West was on display a the Museum today.
by The Return of Light Joker July 06, 2009
Top Definition
A flotation vest kept handy especially by navy pilots in WW II in case the need to ditch into the ocean arose. Named in honour of the uberboobed actress.
If it were not for his Mae West, your grandfather would not have returned from that mission.
by Bernard Stein October 11, 2005
(n)A parachuting malfunction more officially called a lineover, in which a line crosses over the top of the parachute, dividing the canopy into two parts. The result resembles a giant bra; hence the reference to the well-endowed late actress.
I got a mae west and had to use my reserve.
by Heptune May 11, 2005
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