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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

dead weight

noun
1.
the heavy, unrelieved weight of anything inert:
The dead weight of the bear's body was over 300 pounds.
2.
a heavy or oppressive burden or responsibility.
3.
the weight of a railroad car, truck, etc., as distinct from its load or contents.
Also, deadweight.
Origin
1650-1660
1650-60
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for deadweight
  • The deadweight cost is dependent on the elasticity of supply and demand for a good.
British Dictionary definitions for deadweight

dead weight

noun
1.
a heavy weight or load
2.
an oppressive burden; encumbrance
3.
the difference between the loaded and the unloaded weights of a ship
4.
another name for dead load
5.
(in shipping) freight chargeable by weight rather than by bulk
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for deadweight
n.

1650s, "weight of an inert body," from dead (adj.) + weight (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with deadweight

dead weight

A heavy or oppressive burden, as in That police record will be a dead weight on his career. This term alludes to the unrelieved weight of an inert mass. [ Early 1700s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word Value for deadweight

19
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