Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


or débris

[duh-bree, dey-bree or, esp. British, deb-ree] /dəˈbri, ˈdeɪ bri or, esp. British, ˈdɛb ri/
the remains of anything broken down or destroyed; ruins; rubble:
the debris of buildings after an air raid.
Geology. an accumulation of loose fragments of rock.
Origin of debris
1700-10; < French débris, Middle French debris, derivative of debriser to break up (in pieces), Old French debrisier (de- de- + brisier to break; see bruise)
1. detritus, litter, trash. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for debris
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Selected water as the spot for his fall, and was not picked up with the debris.

  • Until then the stream had followed the street; but the debris that encumbered it deflected the course.

    The Flood Emile Zola
  • As she spoke she stepped forward and stumbled over the debris at the door.

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
  • In the corner Nasha struggled to free herself from the debris.

    The Gun Philip K. Dick
  • From the overhanging rocks, too, debris falls as a result of "weathering."

    The Mountain that was 'God' John H. Williams
British Dictionary definitions for debris


/ˈdeɪbrɪ; ˈdɛbrɪ/
fragments or remnants of something destroyed or broken; rubble
a collection of loose material derived from rocks, or an accumulation of animal or vegetable matter
Word Origin
C18: from French, from obsolete debrisier to break into pieces, from bruisier to shatter, of Celtic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for debris

1708, from French débris "remains, waste, rubbish" (16c.), from obsolete debriser "break down, crush," from Old French de- (see de-) + briser "to break," from Late Latin brisare, possibly of Gaulish origin (cf. Old Irish brissim "I break").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for debris

Word Value for debris

Scrabble Words With Friends