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Word of the Day
Friday, February 22, 2002

Definitions for detritus

  1. Loose material that is worn away from rocks.
  2. Hence, any fragments separated from the body to which they belonged; any product of disintegration; debris.

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Citations for detritus
The water was smooth and brown, with detritus swirling in the eddies from the increasing current. Gordon Chaplin, Dark Wind: A Survivor's Tale of Love and Loss
If they [flying cars] were easy to produce, we'd be walking around wearing helmets to protect us from the detritus of flying car crashes. Gail Collins, New York Times
Origin of detritus
1785-1795
Detritus derives from the past participle of Latin deterere, "to rub away, to wear out," from de-, "from" + terere, "to rub." It is related to detriment, at root "a rubbing away, a wearing away," hence "damage, harm."
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