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[draws, dros] /drɔs, drɒs/
waste matter; refuse.
Metallurgy. a waste product taken off molten metal during smelting, essentially metallic in character.
British. coal of little value.
Origin of dross
before 1050; Middle English dros(se), Old English drōs; cognate with Middle Dutch droes dregs; compare Middle English drōsen, Old English drōsna; cognate with Middle High German truosen husks Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dross
  • The dross has been burned away and what remains is the essential character.
  • Compared to the dancing silhouettes, this is pure dross.
  • Nowhere is it written that anyone can turn water to wine, dross to gold or frogs into princes by following a step-by-step guide.
  • And the better prices may encourage others finally to consider selling their unwanted dross.
  • Their investments in stocks and real estate, which still looked golden in the spring, had turned to dross by autumn.
  • The sheer number of business books means that the diamonds shine rarely in a mound of dross.
  • Given the requisite talent and ambition, it's always possible to spin gold out of dross and thereby convert pain into art.
  • Peer review should remain the gold standard, but there is more in the world than gold and dross.
  • The humanities, including law and education, are left with the dross.
  • The list of golden contenders who turned to dross once they contended is long.
British Dictionary definitions for dross


the scum formed, usually by oxidation, on the surfaces of molten metals
worthless matter; waste
Derived Forms
drossy, adjective
drossiness, noun
Word Origin
Old English drōs dregs; related to Old High German truosana
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 dross

"dirt, dregs," Old English dros "the scum thrown off from metals in smelting," from Proto-Germanic *drohs- (cf. Middle Dutch droes, Dutch droesem, Middle Low German dros, Old High German truosana, German Drusen "dregs, husks"), from PIE dher- (1) "to make muddy." Meaning "refuse, rubbish" is mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dross in the Bible

the impurities of silver separated from the one in the process of melting (Prov. 25:4; 26:23; Ps. 119:119). It is also used to denote the base metal itself, probably before it is smelted, in Isa. 1:22, 25.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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