debris

noun
de·​bris | \ də-ˈbrē How to pronounce debris (audio) , dā-ˈbrē, ˈdā-ˌbrē, British usually ˈde-(ˌ)brē \
plural debris\ də-​ˈbrēz How to pronounce debris (audio) , dā-​ˈbrēz , ˈdā-​ˌbrēz , British usually  ˈde-​(ˌ)brēz \

Definition of debris

1 : the remains of something broken down or destroyed digging through the storm's debris in search of survivors sifted through the debris of her broken marriage
2 geology : an accumulation of fragments of rock
3 : something discarded : rubbish picking up debris after the parade

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of debris in a Sentence

After the earthquake, rescuers began digging through the debris in search of survivors. Everything was covered by dust and debris.
Recent Examples on the Web Crews haveworked to clean streets and drainage systems of debris in preparation for upcoming storms. Michael Donohue, The Arizona Republic, 20 July 2021 Menzel said residents had taken to the streets with shovels to clear roadways of debris. NBC News, 16 July 2021 The comet leaves behind a trail of debris on its orbital path. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 July 2021 Eventually, hamster bedding was added to the bottom of the coffins to create a bigger field of debris. Anne Victoria Clark, Vulture, 15 July 2021 The remains of Champlain Towers South, once too risky for heavy machinery and threatened by the remaining structure looming over rescuers, is now nearly level to the ground as excavators remove piles of debris. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 15 July 2021 Discovered in 1862 by Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle, the shower originates from Earth entering the orbit of debris from the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which takes 133 years to orbit the sun. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 14 July 2021 For over two weeks, hundreds of first responders carefully combed through the pancaked piles of debris in hopes of finding survivors. Morgan Winsor, ABC News, 12 July 2021 At about noon on Sunday, a large amount of debris unexpectedly clogged filtering screens with openings less than an inch in size at the treatment plant, said Barbara Romero, the director of L.A.'s Department of Sanitation and Environment. Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'debris.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of debris

1708, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for debris

French débris, from Middle French, from debriser to break to pieces, from Old French debrisier, from de- + brisier to break, of Celtic origin; akin to Old Irish brisid he breaks; perhaps akin to Latin fricare to rub — more at friction

Keep scrolling for more

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best robot vacuums of 2021.

Learn More About debris

Dictionary Entries Near debris

debrief

debris

debris-avalanche

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for debris

Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Debris.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/debris. Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for debris

debris

noun

English Language Learners Definition of debris

: the pieces that are left after something has been destroyed
: things (such as broken pieces and old objects) that are lying where they fell or that have been left somewhere because they are not wanted

debris

noun
de·​bris | \ də-ˈbrē How to pronounce debris (audio) \
plural debris\ -​ˈbrēz \

Kids Definition of debris

: the junk or pieces left from something broken down or destroyed

debris

noun
de·​bris | \ də-ˈbrē, dā-ˈ, ˈdā-ˌ, British usually ˈdeb-(ˌ)rē \
plural debris

Medical Definition of debris

: organic waste from dead or damaged tissue a wound obscured by blood and debrisEmergency Medicine

More from Merriam-Webster on debris

Nglish: Translation of debris for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of debris for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!