Definition of dross
- There is quite a lot of dross on TV these days.
- a talent for turning literary dross into gold
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There is quite a lot of dross on TV these days.
His editor has a talent for turning literary dross into gold.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dross.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Dross has been a part of the English language since Anglo-Saxon times; one 19th-century book on Old English vocabulary dates it back to 1050 A.D. Its Old English ancestors are related to Germanic and Scandinavian words for "dregs" (as in "the dregs of the coffee") - and, like "dregs," dross is a word for the less-than-desirable parts of something. Over the years, the relative worthlessness of dross has often been set in contrast to the value of gold, as for example in British poet Christina Rossetti's "The Lowest Room": "Besides, those days were golden days, / Whilst these are days of dross" (1875).
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
: unwanted material that is removed from a mineral (such as gold) to make it better
: something of low value or quality
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