noun \ˈflät-səm\

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

Full Definition of FLOTSAM

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

avast, aweigh, jib, keel, lee, port, starboard, stay


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