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flotsam

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noun flot·sam \ˈflät-səm\

Simple Definition of flotsam

  • : floating pieces, parts, etc., from a ship that has been wrecked

Full Definition of flotsam

  1. 1 :  floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo; broadly :  floating debris

  2. 2 a :  a floating population (as of emigrants or castaways) <human flotsam> b :  miscellaneous or unimportant material <a notebook filled with flotsam and jetsam> c :  debris, remains <the village … built on the flotsam of war — Stan Sesser>

Examples of flotsam

  1. flotsam washed up on the shore

  2. <the dispirited family picked through the flotsam of their possessions after the hurricane, looking for anything that could be salvaged>



Origin of flotsam

Anglo-French floteson, from floter to float, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English flotian to float, flota ship


First Known Use: circa 1607

Other Nautical Terms



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