rock in small particles or other material worn or broken away from a mass, as by the action of water or glacial ice.
any disintegrated material; debris.

1785–95; < French détritus < Latin: a rubbing away, equivalent to dētrī-, variant stem of dēterere to wear down, rub off (de- de- + terere to rub) + -tus suffix of v. action

detrital, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
detritus (dɪˈtraɪtəs)
1.  a loose mass of stones, silt, etc, worn away from rocks
2.  an accumulation of disintegrated material or debris
3.  the organic debris formed from the decay of organisms
[C18: from French détritus, from Latin dētrītus a rubbing away; see detriment]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1795, "process of erosion," from L. detritus "a wearing away," from detri-, stem of detere "wear away" (see detriment). Geological sense of "matter produced by erosion" is 1802, probably from Fr. detritus; incorrect, in any case.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

detritus de·tri·tus (dĭ-trī'təs)
n. pl. detritus
Loose matter resulting from the wearing away or disintegration of a tissue or substance.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
detritus   (dĭ-trī'təs)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. Loose fragments, such as sand or gravel, that have been worn away from rock.

  2. Matter produced by the decay or disintegration of an organic substance.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Normally I'm too distracted by detritus here.
The detritus of the rock grinding is seen at the edges of the glaciers as dark
The back end of the instrument has a plastic tube that leads to a large flask
  that collects the detritus.
Images were crisp, with no noticeable digital detritus.
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