dross

play
noun \ˈdräs, ˈdrȯs\

Definition of dross

  1. 1 metallurgy :  the scum or unwanted material that forms on the surface of molten metal

  2. 2 :  waste or foreign matter :  impurity

  3. 3 :  something that is base (see 3base 7), trivial, or inferior There is quite a lot of dross on TV these days. a talent for turning literary dross into gold

drossy

play \ˈdrä-sē, ˈdrȯ-\ adjective

dross was our Word of the Day on 01/07/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of dross in a Sentence

  1. There is quite a lot of dross on TV these days.

  2. His editor has a talent for turning literary dross into gold.

Recent Examples of dross from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

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).

Origin and Etymology of dross

Middle English dros, from Old English drōs dregs

Other Metals and Metallurgy Terms


DROSS Defined for English Language Learners

dross

play
noun

Definition of dross for English Language Learners

  • : 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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