noun de·tri·tus \di-ˈtrī-təs\

: the pieces that are left when something breaks, falls apart, is destroyed, etc.

plural de·tri·tus \-ˈtrī-təs, -ˈtrī-ˌtüs\

Full Definition of DETRITUS

:  loose material (as rock fragments or organic particles) that results directly from disintegration
a :  a product of disintegration, destruction, or wearing away :  debris
b :  miscellaneous remnants :  odds and ends <sifting through the detritus of his childhood — Michael Tomasky>
de·tri·tal \-ˈtrī-təl\ adjective

Examples of DETRITUS

  1. the detritus of ancient civilizations
  2. As he packed, he sifted through the detritus of a failed relationship.

Origin of DETRITUS

French détritus, from Latin detritus, past participle of deterere
First Known Use: 1802

Other Geology Terms

anthracite, boulder, cwm, erratic, igneous, intrusive, mesa, sedimentary, silt, swale
Medical Dictionary


noun de·tri·tus \di-ˈtrīt-əs\
plural de·tri·tus \-ˈtrīt-əs, -ˈtrī-ˌtüs\

Medical Definition of DETRITUS

:  loose material resulting from disintegration (as of tissue)


Next Word in the Dictionary: detritus tankPrevious Word in the Dictionary: detritivoreAll Words Near: detritus
July 03, 2015
interpellate Hear it
to formally question a public official
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears