9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[duh-bree, dey-bree or, esp. British, deb-ree] /dəˈbri, ˈdeɪ bri or, esp. British, ˈdɛb ri/
the remains of anything broken down or destroyed; ruins; rubble:
the debris of buildings after an air raid.
Geology. an accumulation of loose fragments of rock.
Also, débris.
Origin of debris
1700-10; < French débris, Middle French debris, derivative of debriser to break up (in pieces), Old French debrisier (de- de- + brisier to break; see bruise)
1. detritus, litter, trash. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for debris
  • Wind and debris lash the side of the van.
  • The amount of space debris jumped just a few months ago when two satellites collided over Siberia.
  • Do a thorough fall cleanup and remove all debris from the ground below trees.
  • Most of the women in this collection are sifting carefully through the debris of failed relationships with flaky men.
  • The moon is nothing but dust and debris.
  • Some visitors use a special screen known as a seruca to wash and separate the heavier diamonds from the lighter debris.
  • Human debris, such as fishing nets, can injure or kill monk seals.
  • Space debris, though, has not caused significant damage to Hubble .
  • The Earth has been smothered by glaciers, eroded by wind and water, splattered with lava and slammed by debris from outer space.
  • Filters trap small debris and help keep the water clean.
British Dictionary definitions for debris


/ˈdeɪbrɪ; ˈdɛbrɪ/
fragments or remnants of something destroyed or broken; rubble
a collection of loose material derived from rocks, or an accumulation of animal or vegetable matter
Word Origin
C18: from French, from obsolete debrisier to break into pieces, from bruisier to shatter, of Celtic origin
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 debris

1708, from French débris "remains, waste, rubbish" (16c.), from obsolete debriser "break down, crush," from Old French de- (see de-) + briser "to break," from Late Latin brisare, possibly of Gaulish origin (cf. Old Irish brissim "I break").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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