Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

detritus

play
noun de·tri·tus \di-ˈtrī-təs\

Simple Definition of detritus

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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of detritus

plural

detritus

\-ˈtrī-təs, -ˈtrī-ˌtüs\
  1. 1 :  loose material (as rock fragments or organic particles) that results directly from disintegration

  2. 2 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>

detrital

play \-ˈtrī-təl\ adjective

Examples of detritus in a sentence

  1. the detritus of ancient civilizations

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



Origin and Etymology of detritus

French détritus, from Latin detritus, past participle of deterere


First Known Use: 1802


Medical Dictionary

detritus

play
noun de·tri·tus \di-ˈtrīt-əs\

Medical Definition of detritus

plural

detritus

\-ˈtrīt-əs, -ˈtrī-ˌtüs\play play
  1. :  loose material resulting from disintegration (as of tissue)





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up detritus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

prophetic or oracular

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

philistine frenetic melancholy lazy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ