: sediment contained in a liquid or precipitated (see precipitate entry 1 sense 3a) from it : lees
usually used in plural
coffee dregs at the bottom of the cup
: the most undesirable part
usually used in plural
the dregs of society
: the last remaining part : vestige
usually used in plural
the last dregs of fuel
dreggy adjective

Examples of dreg in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Finding the right tune each night in the dregs of the regular season is a more difficult challenge. Michael Shapiro, Chron, 22 Apr. 2023 The woman, perhaps a prostitute, is shown flicking dregs of wine from a cup at a target in a game the Greeks called kottabos. Tom Mashberg, New York Times, 19 Apr. 2023 After completing the final episode, I was reminded of the early comparison to The Hunger Games, the dystopian novel and film in which teenagers from society’s dregs murder each other on television to entertain the genteel. Frederick Dreier, Outside Online, 9 Mar. 2023 Such critics in turn have usually not listened to the stories and experience of those who have drunk the current medical cocktail of gender transitioning to its bitter dregs— the growing numbers of detransitioners. John Grabowski, National Review, 3 Apr. 2023 Meanwhile, teams in the game’s Central divisions who are at least nominally competing will suddenly have six fewer games to pound the dregs of the division. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 7 Mar. 2023 The Fighting Irish are the dregs of the league. Tanner McGrath, Chicago Tribune, 22 Feb. 2023 Then the last dreg of good will dies. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 18 Mar. 2022 Add apple cider, stock or the dregs from a bottle of wine. Ali Slagle, New York Times, 12 May 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dreg.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Old Norse dregg; perhaps akin to Latin fraces dregs of oil

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dreg was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near dreg

Cite this Entry

“Dreg.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dreg. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

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